On Monday morning (AEDT), Tottenham played and won their FA Cup fixture 5-0. Although that sounds pretty stock-standard, the team they played wouldn’t usually be associated with the third round of this competition.
Tottenham have been forced to re-evaluate their position on their star attacking midfielder amid new interest from Paris Saint-Germain.
Once a young prospect who burst onto the Premier League scene in 2015, Dele Alli’s form has been up-and-down despite becoming a consistent starter for the club.
With the appointment of Jose Mourinho, Alli’s position in the club has become uncertain.
A poor showing against Everton resulted in Alli being substituted at halftime in Tottenham’s 1-0 loss. Since then he has failed to start a match, with Mourinho saying a surplus in squad depth was to blame.
We have seen this before, whether it be during Mourinho’s tenure with United and his alienating of Luke Shaw from the squad, or famously with club legend Iker Casillas at Real Madrid.
Mourinho tends to isolate and force out players who may not fit his plans, and Alli is looking likely to become his next victim.
Mourinho has shown his favoured midfield line-up of Harry Winks, Pierre-Emile Højbjerg and Steven Bergwijn has the balance to create and defend on a second’s notice.
Alli is also going to find it harder to find starting positions in wide midfield, with Lucas Moura and Son Heung-min being cemented in starting positions.
Not to mention the loan signing of former Galactico and club starlet Gareth Bale.
Dele’s creativity and attacking positioning cannot be denied. His best season in 2016-17 saw him score 18 goals, while also assisting seven all in 37 appearances.
Former manager Mauricio Pochettino was able to get the best out of Alli by allowing him to drift into goal-scoring opportunities at will, all while being provided defensive coverage by Eric Dier and former Spur Mousa Dembélé.
However, Mourinho’s system does not offer the same freedom, instead preferring a slow passing game focussed around star striker Harry Kane.
Alli also needs to consistently play first-team football in order to secure his position in the England squad for the UEFA 2020 Euros.
At only 24 years of age, Alli’s value might be at its highest point.
A chance to receive a player from PSG in the deal, as well as the rumoured $90 million price tag, should be a good enough deal for Tottenham. The club could use the funds for a central defender, a position where they require more depth.
Such a deal would be a good result for both parties as Dele Alli is an incredible talent who has shown potential but no longer fits the club’s system.