Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho has addressed the Dele Alli situation at his press conference today.
The midfielder remains on the periphery for Spurs, having made just seven appearances across all competitions this term.
The 24-year-old is seemingly struggling to win Mourinho’s trust right now, and speculation has been rife about his immediate future, with the winter transfer window just around the corner.
The Portuguese has denied he has a ‘problem’ with Alli, but implied he must take ownership of the situation and prove he can become a starter again.
He said (quoted by football.london, 12.53) : “I don’t have any problem with Dele. I don’t have any problems with any of them. My players are happy when they play and not happy when they don’t play. I don’t blame my players. It’s only to improve their situation by using every minute they have to improve their position.”
And Mourinho pointed to the example of £60,000-a-week defender Ben Davies (Spotrac) as something Alli could learn from.
“The concept above everything is the concept that the team is more important than any of us”, he added.
“The example is Ben Davies. Against Chelsea, he played five minutes and last season he’d play 90 minutes. But he played those 90 minutes like they were the last five minutes of his career.”
TBR’s View – Crunch month for Dele
The festive period will be huge for Dele, who has never been under this kind of pressure at Spurs before.
Mourinho’s comments suggest he still wants the player to work harder, and it remains to be seen how he responds from here.
Spurs certainly haven’t been struggling without him, so he has his work cut out to get back into the side and stay there.