Dele stormed into the Premier League five seasons ago as a young kid from MK Dons full of talent and drive but fast forward to 2020 and he has endured yet another disappointing season.
There is no denying that Dele has talent; his flicks and tricks are what fans fell in love with in his first few seasons at Spurs. He perfectly timed his runs and had an eye for goal, rarely picked up injuries, and was full of fire, a real key member of Pochettino’s side.
His link-up play with Kane was dreamy and stand out performances against Chelsea and Real Madrid will stick in the minds of fans as peak Dele moments.
So, after being so impressive and setting the bar so high, it was strange that he never kicked on to achieve the level predicted of him with the midfielder once heavily linked with big-money moves.
His inconsistency has played a big role in the last few campaigns from bagging 37 goals and 26 assists between 2015 and 2018 to mustering just 13 goals and 7 assists in the last two seasons (TransferMarkt).
The typical Dele style of movement off the ball has been uninspired and performances underwhelming as the goals have withered away of late. Perhaps it is a lack of confidence, but the Dele Spurs fans had become accustomed too has not been the same for quite some time and you now have to ask yourself, if a club came in for him, is it time to cash in?
Injuries have become an issue for Dele with thigh strains and a recurring hamstring problem keeping him out of the team for long spells. Being out of the team for extended periods can cause frustration, especially when game time is limited and you haven’t been able to prove your point on the pitch.
Not only this, but substitutions have also not been taken well recently and Dele has been seen throwing the odd strop or water bottle from time to time. That type of reaction can be taken as a positive, as it shows the passion and desire to do better for himself and the team, so maybe there is hope for him yet.
When Mourinho took charge, he was adamant on reinstating Dele to the team and rekindling his best form, injecting newfound confidence and, for the first few games, it worked.
The new manager sparked a resurgence of the old fiery Dele but, as the season progressed and injuries took hold, it seems as though things have sadly reverted back.
Heading into the new season, it will be important for Dele to keep himself fit and focused on and off the pitch, something that has been questioned many times. At the age of 24, there is still time to rediscover the player and form that helped him burst onto the scene and earn the reputation he once had.
This season will give him a real chance to be a leader within this Spurs side who are in the process of a rebuild. However, one thing is for sure, Spurs cannot afford passengers and if he suffers another lacklustre season, there may be no more chances left to give.
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