Paul Merson claims Tottenham player's a shadow of former self
Paul Merson has told Sky Sports that Dele Alli is looking a shadow of his former self as he discussed the problems behind Harry Kane’s Tottenham goal drought in the Premier League.
What’s the story?
Kane is yet to score in the top-flight this term. And in truth, there have been games when you would have been forgiven for forgetting that the England captain is even playing.
Of course, his form has become a particular talking point after Tottenham’s abject showing in Sunday’s North London Derby.
Kane was not the only player to struggle to lay a glove on the Gunners. Nuno Espirito Santo’s midfield endured an awful afternoon at the Emirates.
Dele was taken off at half-time by Nuno. And as Merson analysed the reasons behind Kane’s form, he highlighted the 25-year-old’s decline.
“Who is giving him the ball? Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg is sitting in front of the defence, Dele Alli looks a shadow of his former self, Tanguy Ndombele is a runner, he will beat players, but he will not put the ball through the eye of a needle,” he told Sky Sports.
Onus on Nuno to get best out of Dele at Tottenham
It does appear that the idea of using Dele in a midfield three is simply not working.
He was playing higher up the pitch when he was playing the best football of his career, in the couple of years following his move to North London.
Surely, Nuno has to now consider pushing Dele further forward if he hopes to help the England international turn his fortunes around.
Of course, that will not alleviate all of the problems in midfield. Hojbjerg was incredibly poor at the Emirates.
But using Dele in the three is doing no-one any favours right now. Something surely now has to give at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.