The longer Jose Mourinho stays in the Tottenham job, the bleaker Dele Alli’s future at the club appears.
The 24-year-old was expected to leave Spurs in the January transfer window, possibly on loan, with bookmakers at one stage slashing their odds to as short as 4/7 on Alli joining Paris Saint-Germain.
With former Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino now in charge of the Ligue 1 champions, it seemed a logical move and one which could have resurrected Alli’s chances of making the England squad for this summer’s Euros.
Alas, no such transfer transpired, but with Mourinho now amongst the favourites in the betting on who will be the next manager sacked in the Premier League, Alli might just have a lifeline at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
The former MK Dons midfielder has played just 541 minutes this season – that’s across only 14 appearances, even less than Gareth Bale who has been similarly cast aside by the Tottenham manager.
Given how Mourinho breathed new life into Alli when he first arrived to replace Pochettino, the player’s regression back to the fringes of the first team will be disappointing for many, few more so than Gareth Southgate.
Alli A Long Shot For Euros
Alli is now an 8/1 outsider in the betting on who will make the England squad for Euro 2020, but Mourinho will feel intense heat if Spurs lose to Austrian outfit Wolfsberger AC in the Europa League on Thursday.
A 3-0 defeat to Manchester City on Saturday condemned Mourinho to a fifth defeat in their last six outings, including the extra-time loss to Everton in the FA Cup last Wednesday.
Mourinho has been receiving criticism for his negative approach in recent games, with his defensive set-up being called in to question amid other recent defeats to Liverpool, Brighton and Chelsea, with the tame loss away to the Seagulls coming as the biggest surprise.
Alli staying at Spurs beyond the latest transfer window was also a surprise, though, and his lack of game-time this season could have a seriously adverse effect on a player of his age and potential.
That said, former England and Tottenham goalkeeper Paul Robinson believes Alli should be lauded for refusing to throw his toys out of the pram as Mourinho continues to snub him.
“I was very surprised he didn’t sign for anyone in the January window but I think Dele Alli deserves some credit because we’ve not heard a peep out of him,” Robinson told bookmakers.co.uk.
“He’s got his head down, he’s working hard and he’s played well when given the opportunity.
‘Spurs Lack Creativity’
“He was given the opportunity against Marine in the FA Cup – not a glamorous tie but an international player of Alli’s ilk could have easily sulked and failed to perform well, but he looked fit, sharp and was the best player on the pitch.
“It’s strange when you see results such as the Brighton game and the lack of creativity going forward and you think to yourself that a player like Dele Alli can have an impact on this game, with his attacking ability and eyes for a pass, you question what he has to do to get a run in a side that lacks so much creativity.
“He’s the type of player who can unlock doors and penetrate defences.”
Mourinho threw Alli on with Spurs already 2-0 down against Manchester City, doing neither player nor manager any favours as Spurs spent most of the game without the ball.
With just five Premier League outings to his name this season, the return of the Europa League on Thursday represents a chance for Alli to stake a claim to be included in the starting XI against in-form West Ham in their next league outing on Sunday, February 21.
Tottenham are 1/16 to advance to the next round of the Europa League, with Wolfsberger as long as 9/1, so anything less than a comfortable first-leg result on Thursday will leave Mourinho clinging to his job.
On the flip side of that, a change of management could be precisely what Alli needs.