Soccer

Dele Alli’s departure from Tottenham looks increasingly likely

July 11, 2018; Moscow, Russia; England midfielder Dele Alli (20) reacts during game action against Croatia in the semifinals of the FIFA World Cup 2018 at Saint Petersburg Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Groothuis/Witters Sport via USA TODAY Sports
Tim Groothuis/Witters Sport via USA TODAY Sports

Dele Alli looks to be on his way out of Tottenham Hotspurs, following another matchday squad omission. The 24-year-old did not travel with the team to Lancashire on Monday, where they recorded a 1 – 0 win against Burnley. Son Heung – Min scored the winner for Spurs at Turf Moor, moving them up to fifth place in the Premier League.

Alli had only started one game this season when he was substituted at half time against Everton. Son and Harry Kane have started this season in blistering form. The duo has recorded an unbelievable 23 combined goal contributions in 6 Premier League games. Combine that with Gareth Bale’s transfer and Giovani Lo Celso’s return, Alli may not be brought back into the squad.

Change in formation freezes Dele Alli out

One of the factors that have hurt Alli the most has been the switch in formation. Under Mauricio Pochettino, Tottenham lined up in a 4-2-3-1 formation, where Alli played in his preferred number 10 role. It is in this shape where the former MK Dons player flourished. As a 20-year-old in 2016/2017, he had 25 goal contributions in the Premier League alone.

Life under new boss Jose Mourinho started brilliantly for Alli. The famous manager stuck to the 4-2-3-1 shape, and Alli started life under Mourinho fantastically. 

However, the system has changed to start this season. Spurs have switched to a 4-3-3 formation, moving the attacking midfielder to more of a deep-lying playmaker role. This leaves Alli no room, as he is not comfortable playing in both a midfield nor a front three. The Europa League may be the only tournament where he sees game time this season, should he remain at the club.

Potential destinations

It is quite difficult to pinpoint destinations for Alli due to his need to play as an attacking midfielder. A loan move to Paris Saint Germain was heavily discussed before the transfer window slammed shut on the 5th of October. This would make a lot of sense from a tactical standpoint, as Alli could play in his preferred role, with Neymar, Mbappe, and Di Maria ahead of him. Another possibility would be the Italian club Juventus, but it is unlikely that they can afford him in the current climate.

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