- 29 January
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Mourinho: Dele Alli distracted by transfer speculation
Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho admits that Dele Alli might have been distracted over the past few months by the speculation linking him with a move away from North London.
Despite enjoying a decent run of form when Mourinho initially took over as Spurs boss in December of 2019, Alli has since fell out of favour with the Portuguese manager, and has quite often been left out of matchday squads completely in the 2020/21 campaign.
This season, he has started just six matches in all competitions, with three of those coming in the Europa League. Overall, he has played just 487 minutes of football.
Alli’s lack of playing time catalysed rumours about his future with Spurs, with new PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino reportedly keen to bring him to Paris on a loan deal in the January transfer window.
That deal was believed to have been close to happening, but ultimately didn’t materialise when Spurs pulled the plug due to their bad form and an influx of injuries at the time.
Mourinho says Alli might not have been totally focused on his game due to the transfer speculation.
“There’s nothing to speak about anymore,” Mourinho told Standard Sport.
“It’s possible that he was distracted, yeah.
“It depends on the player’s mentality, how much the player is influenced by and follows the media and social media. I don’t know in his personal case.
“But I was expecting that this story is over. Now it’s about him working to be back in the team, to have minutes.”
The former Man Utd and Chelsea boss then challenged Alli to use what playing time he gets between now and the end of the season to prove his worth.
“When you are on the pitch, you have to show how good you are and how much you deserve to play. It’s very simple,” he continued.
Mourinho was speaking ahead of Tottenham’s FA Cup match against Everton in which they lost 5-4 in extra-time.
Dele Alli came off the bench in the 77th minute.