Bound for Besiktas Dele Alli has seen his career spectacularly decline

Dele Alli was compared to Ronaldinho and Maradona by Pochettino during his early years at Tottenham… who could have predicted he would be unwanted by Everton and bound for Besiktas at just 26?

  • Dele Alli rose spectacularly to stardom under Mauricio Pochettino at Tottenham
  • But the former MK Dons youngster saw his career steadily decline at Spurs
  • He struggled under Jose Mourinho, who tried to save his career in north London
  • Eventually he left for Frank Lampard and Everton but they could not save him
  • Now the Toffees are willing to cash in with Turkish side Besiktas a possibility 

The heights he scaled during his peak and the names that came to mind when one of his former managers and mentors discussed Dele Alli could hardly feel further away right now.

The man who was once one of the bright hopes of English football finds himself unwanted by Everton. They are not exactly overflowing with attacking quality yet remain happy to let Alli leave for Turkey.

However much of it may have been self-inflicted, Alli’s decline still sparks an element of sadness for those who remember the good old days.

Everton midfielder Dele Alli has emerged as a shock transfer target for Turkish outfit Besiktas

There were many of those too, most notably under Mauricio Pochettino at Tottenham.

‘Maradona was a talented, gifted player; so strong, physicality, natural body that’s strong, quick, powerful; but then his character, it’s winning, the DNA,’ Pochettino once said.

‘The charisma is the best thing he has, when he walks into the room everyone watches him, everyone wants to touch him, wants to ask for a picture.

‘Ronaldinho at Paris Saint-Germain was similar. And it’s similar in this way with Dele. When he was scoring goals, kids loved him like he was Ronaldinho. Kids feel this charisma, this energy, and with Dele it happened the same.’

The Toffees star has played a total of 38 minutes during the first two Premier League matches

It was under Pochettino at Tottenham that Alli rose spectacularly after joining from MK Dons for an initial £5million with a number of individual honours from his Football League days that underlined his potential. 

He thrived initially in central midfield and then later playing off Harry Kane, enjoying the licence to get into attacking positions and plunder goals.

Two years running he was named PFA Young Player of the Year, in 2016 and 2017, and he marked his England full debut with a wonder goal against France before playing a key role at the 2018 World Cup.

‘Dele was an amazing player for us; the hunger and the energy and the aggression,’ Pochettino added during an appearance on Sky’s Monday Night Football in 2020.

Mauricio Pochettino got the best out of Alli, who has since struggled to replicate those heights

That spark and edge has disappeared in recent years, a process that began when he was moved back into central midfield under Pochettino.

Jose Mourinho tried returning him to his old position but a bright start quickly fizzled out and the manager’s confrontational style did not help rebuild Alli, who fell out of favour. Some have wondered if Alli has fallen out of love with the game altogether.

He fared no better under Nuno Espirito Santo and by the time Antonio Conte arrived at Spurs in November the damage was done.

Frank Lampard, one of English football’s great goalscoring midfielders, seemed like the ideal candidate for the restoration job at Everton but he too has not been able to discover what makes the 26-year-old tick.

Who could have predicted Alli would find himself in this sorry situation, in what should be his prime years, back when he was under Pochettino and shining?

Antonio Conte was also unable to extract Alli’s former self during their time together at Spurs

Share this article

Source: Read Full Article