A couple of years ago it looked like Dele Alli was going to star at Tottenham Hotspur for a decade, on Sunday Dele may be putting on a Spurs kit for the last time.
How exactly it got to this point is a complex question that is difficult to answer. Regardless, Dele Alli may be nearing his exit from N17 if reports in the media are to be believed, with Newcastle the most likely destination. Thus one must wonder if the match against Chelsea on Sunday, will be Dele’s last game with Tottenham?
Dele was lightning in a bottle for Tottenham
He was once the spark that ignited Mauricio Pochetinno’s best Spurs teams with just a hint of nasty and flair to spare.
So central was Dele, at one point Spurs simply did not lose when Dele scored. With his timely runs into the box, incredible finishes, and penchant for the sublime, Dele Alli – maybe more than any Spurs player – truly represented the “To Dare is To Do” spirit that drove Pochettino’s teams to success.
Whether it was injuries, a woman, the bromance fallout, or his fictitious brother once created by Jose Mourinho, Dele Alli lost the things that made him special. Whether the issues are mental, physical, or both, Dele has floated on the periphery of the Tottenham squad for the last couple of seasons providing only marginal contributions, which have seemingly led to his way out.
Dele has had chances the last few seasons
Given a chance by Jose Mourinho – but also publicly called out – Dele initially responded but could not provide consistency. With Nuno Espirito Santo, Dele was again given ample opportunity but could not sustain his best form.
Most recently with Antonio Conte, Alli was again given an opportunity to prove himself and take more minutes. Seeing the minutes and role that Harry Winks has carved out for himself, there is no doubt if Dele was doing what Conte wanted and then performing on the pitch he too could have a role. Unfortunately, as it has been for several seasons now, Dele is just not getting it done consistently.
Ideally, as a long-time fan, Dele goes out on loan and finds whatever is missing to get back to the form of old. Absent Sunday at Stamford Bridge, a place Dele had once owned, maybe the last time we see Dele in a Spurs kit.