Jose Mourinho sought Alfie Devine out following his red card for Tottenham Hotspur’s under-23s back in December to praise his character, according to a report from The Athletic.
It was announced earlier on Monday that Mourinho had left the club after 17 months at the helm. Of course, the news may divide some of the players.
One of those who may perhaps be disappointed to see Mourinho go is Devine. The 16-year-old joined the club during the Portuguese’s only summer at the helm.
And it was Mourinho who handed the midfielder his senior debut back in January. In the process, Devine became Spurs’ youngest ever player.
But it appears that Mourinho was already a fan of the teenager some time before his first-team bow.
It was back in December that Devine was sent off for the under-23s in a game against Chelsea. The dismissal came after an altercation with Danny Drinkwater.
Interestingly, The Athletic notes that the red card did not escape the attention of Mourinho. In fact, he apparently sought out Devine afterwards to praise him for standing up for himself against a senior pro such as Drinkwater.
It is arguably an incident that highlights why players have loved playing for Mourinho down the years. Some managers may have reacted completely differently with a youngster who may have wished he had handled the situation in another way.
However, it seems that Mourinho’s inability to maintain a positive relationship with some of the key members of the squad ultimately cost him.