Analysing the sharp rise and steady decline of Tottenham Hotspur's Dele Alli
- Once tipped to be one of the greats of the game, Alli has suffered a dip in form in the last two seasons. Can he get back to his best?
Wind the clock back to the end of the 2016-17 season and Dele Alli was riding the crest of a wave. Two fantastic seasons at Tottenham Hotspur had marked him out as a special talent, surely destined to be one of the greats of the game, for club and country.
Wind the clock forward to the present day and Alli finds himself out of favour under Jose Mourinho (after initially enjoying a brief renaissance) and struggling to justify his place in Gareth Southgate's England squad for Euro 2020.
So where has it all gone wrong for a player that had been marked for stardom? In this article we look back at Alli's time at the club and why his performance level has regressed so much.
Alli signed for Spurs in January 2015 before being loaned back to Milton Keynes Dons for the remainder of that season. In his final season for the League One club, he impressed with his eye for goal from midfield, scoring 16 goals in 44 appearances as the team secured promotion to the Championship.
Big things were therefore expected of the youngster but nobody had quite anticipated what an impact Alli would have in his first season in the Premier League.
During that debut season, he would make 46 appearances for Spurs, scoring 10 goals, contributing 11 assists and playing over 3,000 minutes in a remarkably consistent season. He was heavily involved in all aspects of the game, averaging 33 passes a match with a completion rate of 76%. He averaged 2.2 shots and 1.7 key passes across the season.
His form saw him rewarded with his first England call-up, while he was also voted PFA Young Player of the Year by his peers. He also featured in the PFA Team of the Year and won BBC Goal of the season, for a stunning volley against Crystal Palace.