Dele Alli was expected to leave Tottenham Hotspur this summer but seems to have found a new lease of life under new manager Nuno Espírito Santo.
The 25-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 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 the Euros but it never materialised.
The former MK Dons midfielder was clearly out of favour under Jose Mourinho with most of his starts coming in the Europa League and just 15 appearances made in the Premier League last term.
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"I said at the end of last season that I wouldn’t be surprised if he moves on, finds a new challenge," former Spurs goalkeeper Paul Robinson told Bookmakers.co.uk. "Maybe he needs that, new voices, new surroundings at a different club.
"I hope I’m wrong and I hope he settles again back at Spurs under Nuno, but I think that’s what he needs. Whether he’s given the opportunity to depends on what formation is being played."
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Alli Showing Signs of Promise Under Nuno
Alli is enjoying a strong start to the season as he settles into a deeper role under Nuno. Spurs started the season with a surprise victory over current champions Manchester City.
They followed that up with a gutsy 1-0 win over Wolves at Molineux where Dele stepped up and converted from the penalty spot which was his first Premier League goal since March 2020.
🏴Spurs star Dele Alli discusses Tottenham Hotspur’s 1-0 victory over Wolves away from home and being asked to play in a deeper role by Nuno Espírito Santo:— Last Word On Spurs🎙 (@LastWordOnSpurs) August 22, 2021
🗣"We knew it was going to be difficult, but winning is most important.”#THFC | #COYS | #WOLTOTpic.twitter.com/vlt347FkvX
Alli staying at Spurs beyond the latest transfer window was a surprise and his lack of game-time last season could have a seriously adverse effect on a player of his age and potential.
That said, Robinson believes Alli should be lauded for refusing to throw his toys out of the pram when Mourinho continued to snub him.
“There’s been little flashes of Dele showing his best form over the past year at times but he’s nowhere near the player he was.
“He’s got so much to prove but whether he can do that at Spurs, I honestly don’t know the answer to that. From the outside looking in, it seems as though he needs a new challenge.”
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Ndombele May Be On the Move
Meanwhile, Tanguy Ndombele was subject to an up and down time at Spurs under Mourinho and it seems he may suffer the same feat under Nuno with a possible move away likely the best outcome for his football career.
“It’s a strange one," said Robinson on the Ndombele situation."There’s clearly a problem with him off the field because he had the same problems with Mourinho.
“Sometimes he was completely out of the picture and then he came back in again, then he was out again.
“The fact Nuno has said he was available and he didn’t pick him doesn’t bode well, that suggests there’s an issue there. If I was Ndombele I wouldn’t be sticking around too long.”