Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli has given his thoughts on the departure of Christian Eriksen from the north London club last month.
Eriksen’s contract was dwindling and Alli understands why the Dan left the club – as per FourFourTwo – but bemoaned the loss of creativity to Jose Mourinho’s side.
He said: “Chris is an amazing player, but it came to that point where he wanted to move on. It was sad for me and the other boys because he got on with everyone, he was a great squad player, he got on well, he was great in training and always working hard on the pitch.
“He gave me a lot of assists as well and I am going to miss them, but at the same time I wish him all the best and I am sure we will speak soon, maybe go for dinner.”
TBR’s View – Alli’s challenge is to add some of Eriksen’s guile to his game
Alli and Eriksen both interpret the number ten role in different ways. Alli has always been about pushing as high up the pitch as he can to score.
Eriksen preferred to boss games from deep and that guile is something Alli should be looking to add to his game. The very best number tens have more than one way to win a game in their back pocket.
Giovani Lo Celso’s red-hot form should help Jose Mourinho replace the artistry of Eriksen but Alli should take some of that subtlety into his game to help replace the outgoing assists.
That is especially pertinent given the remaining midfield slot in Gareth Southgate’s England side for Euro 2020 looks to be in a slightly deeper role in a 4-3-3 than the one Mourinho has him in.
The ability to set the tempo of a game, especially at international level, is crucial for a midfielder in that role. That’s the challenge for Alli now.