Opinion: The decline of Dele Alli at Tottenham

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Dele
Marc Atkins/Getty Images

We’re five league games into this new season and, therefore, a fair amount of time has passed for us to now judge the performances of Dele Alli.

Many of his most stout fans had expected, or perhaps wished for, the midfielder’s form to pick up after the departure of Jose Mourinho. But, as no surprise to myself, he still looks to be a complete passenger in this side, and to be honest, I’m sick of it. 

Let’s take a look at his early-season stats. He’s scored just the one goal, that being his penalty at Molineux.

Aside from this spot-kick, he has amassed a quite staggering 0.00 expected assists this season, meaning that he is not just failing to get on the scoresheet, but he’s not even creating anything either.

Despite the lack of goal involvement, he’s started all five games, and has only been substituted once. So the question has to be asked, what is Nuno seeing in him? 

His own personal fan base might argue that his position has changed this season, and to be fair, you can see that when he plays. He has been picking up the ball much deeper and looking to affect the game from defensive midfield at times. 

But here lies the issue. Passing prowess has never been in Dele Alli’s box of tricks. He never used to make telling passes from deep – he was on the receiving end!

What made him popular in his early days was his ability to be a nuisance in the box, and get on the end of crosses. He scored a whopping 28 league goals in his first two seasons at Spurs – figures which quite frankly, don’t seem remotely achievable ever again. 

Another excuse that his fanboys may have been able to point at was his fitness. Since joining Spurs, Alli has suffered 13 significant injuries – 9 of which have occurred since 2018-19.

But since his justified absence from the England set-up, the 25-year-old has had no excuses! He’s just had an entire summer off, and yet still looks way off the pace.

Maybe there was something significant in his 2019 comments when he stated that at the ripe old age of 23, his body could not do what it used to.

So here’s my question. Why keep him?

In my opinion, Alli’s ability and performances have been regressing since we left White Hart Lane.

Given that, as the chant informs us, ‘he only cost five mil’, why haven’t we cashed in for a tidy little profit?

Does Daniel Levy really think that the Englishman can recover the levels of four or five years ago? I just don’t see it happening.

I don’t know what’s worse – watching his decline, or listening to people who are in denial about just how far Alli has fallen.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. He’s English something we have a severe lack of and unless paratici stops looking for players in Italy we are going to struggle to fill our homegrown quota especially in Europe where Davies, rodon and Doherty are considered foreign. Everyone wants winks out the club, kane might as well not be there and if dele goes too. That will be another 3 homegrown players we don’t have. Maybe if you look at the bigger picture you might understand why the club is keeping them there

  2. Alli is only interested in the glam. Look at Kante, he’s the best role model for 26years old footballers. He has to choose between fame before success and the other way around. He’s easily a pushover on the pitch and it’s getting worse at every stage of each match. How can any coach have any confidence watching him. Dele lacks hunger, and I hate it when he gives the ball away and he starts calling the….ref….ref….and then smiles.

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