For weeks now, there have been rumors and reports that Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli could be getting ready to leave London and the Premier League for a loan move to Ligue 1. Alli might be joining PSG?
The precocious midfielder, who’s been at the club since 2015, has indeed piqued the interest of Paris Saint-Germain, now led by former Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino. All of this transfer talk raises a few questions, but above all else, Spurs fans are now wondering: what went wrong?
How is it that a player this young, with his degree of talent, is being chased out of town? Why is it that Spurs manager Jose Mourinho just doesn’t seem to trust Alli? Is a move imminent?
Dele Alli is *not* in the squad today. He wants to leave Tottenham, still pushing to join Paris Saint-Germain on loan. Talks on - Spurs are not convinced yet... but PSG won’t give up on this deal as reported on Thursday. 👀🏴 #THFC #Spurs https://t.co/ufdHfSTurT— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) January 17, 2021
It is clear the relationship between Mourinho and Alli is fractured, as the Englishman struggles to earn regular appearances for the club. In fact, he’s played in just 12 matches in all competitions this season. With such a limited body of work, how much of this rift is truly because of Alli's play vs. Mourinho scapegoating and posturing as he's done throughout his career?
Mourinho's been openly critical of star players before, failing to get the most out of Eden Hazard at Chelsea and Paul Pogba at Manchester United, for example. However, those two are world-class players who've had loads of career success with different managers. Therefore, many fans now believe the issue lies with the manager.
Alli is not of the same ilk as Hazard and Pogba, but it certainly is perplexing that he doesn't play more frequently. At times, it’s almost as if Mourinho wants his midfielder to make mistakes: Alli's ill-fated backheel flick vs. Stoke City incurred the wrath of Mourinho, yet Spurs won the game and Alli played well up to that point.
The drama between the two may be too severe now to be overcome. So, if Mourinho chases the skilled 24-year-old standout out of town because of a personal vendetta, only time will tell if it’s the right move.
And, good on PSG for striking while the iron is hot. Pochettino clearly understands the value of the maligned midfielder, who will have a lot to prove if he ends up leaving town and heading to the Parisian giants.