Former Tottenham Hotspur striker Louis Saha is backing midfielder Dele Alli to “bounce back” and rediscover his true qualities following Jose Mourinho’s exit from the north London club.
Alli has found opportunities increasingly hard to come by this season, racking up just 23 appearances in all competitions, with only ten of those outings coming in the Premier League.
Although he has suffered with injury troubles this term, the former MK Dons star did not find himself as a key figure within Mourinho’s plans, frequently being left out of the matchday squad by the Portuguese boss.
With opportunities proving limited, French giants Paris Saint-Germain, who are managed by former Spurs chief Mauricio Pochettino, did express an interest in signing him in January, but no deal ever came into fruition.
But with Mourinho having now been axed by Spurs chairman Daniel Levy, Saha believes Alli needs to make a decision about his long-term future, but at the same time believes he will find a route back to his best level regardless of whether it be in north London or elsewhere.
“Dele has to make a decision with what he wants to do and he has to fully commit to it,” Saha told GentingBet. “If he stays he has to work super hard and use what has happened in the right way and to enjoy even more what he does.
“It’s hard when you can’t express it, when you can’t play and show how good you actually are. The hardest is when you’re injured and you can’t do anything about it. The main thing for him is to play.
“To feel like he is loved, to feel like he is supported. Then he will express his talent because he has got plenty. That isn’t easy and that’s football.
“Sometimes you have better players who have bad patches because you’re not playing well, you’re not feeling right.
“But he has all the tools to bounce back and be a great player.”
Despite being an unused substitute in Spurs’ 2-1 win over Southampton on Wednesday evening, Alli will be looking to force his way into Ryan Mason’s starting line-up for tomorrow’s Carabao Cup final against Manchester City at Wembley.
Spurs will enter the contest as the underdogs to try and end their 13-year wait for a trophy. Should they come out on top and end City’s love affair with the competition, Saha believes the 2020/21 campaign can be described as a successful season for the club.
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“I think winning on Sunday does mean a good season for them. You need a trophy, you need that emotion and it’s a great foundation for next year,” added Saha.
“Having that in mind, it’s always better and a good way to start a new era. So many people tend to forget the pandemic was tough for everybody.
“It’s not a normal season so it’s very important to recognise we don’t have all the facts on what happened, the injuries and so on. The trophy means you have done better than others, many teams won’t win any trophies so it’s a positive.”