Wednesday 2 December, 2020

Alli to return for Tottenham but Mourinho urges player to improve

Tottenham's Dele Alli.

Tottenham's Dele Alli.

Dele Alli is set to stay at Tottenham and will get his chance in the Europa League qualifier against Shkendija but must now perform, says coach Jose Mourinho.

England international Alli has not featured since he was substituted at half-time of Spurs' Premier League opener at home to Everton, a 1-0 defeat.

Alli, who scored nine goals in 38 games in all competitions last season, did not even make the bench for subsequent victories over Lokomotiv Plovdiv and Southampton.

The 24-year-old's future has appeared uncertain as links to Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain emerged while Mourinho offered no assurances.

Spurs will soon welcome Gareth Bale into the group as he recovers from injury amid his return to the club from Madrid, but Alli first has an opportunity to impress in North Macedonia on Thursday.

"Dele Alli will make the trip," Mourinho told a news conference ahead of the third qualifying round match. "I always said that Dele will have a chance. He's coming.

"He'll have a chance to perform and it's important that he does. It's important that every player does."

Mourinho does not expect Alli to leave but insists it is up to the player to improve.

"I see him staying," the coach added. "There is a tendency now, when a player performs or doesn't perform, to give responsibility to the coach because they gave him the right stick or didn't.

"I always feel that 99 per cent of the responsibility is the player. I, and the staff who work with the player, have one per cent."

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