“I have to admit that I thought he was going to be a world-class player. But I don’t know what happened to him.” None other than Sir Alex Ferguson was already pondering the fall of Dele Alli (26).
In 2015, one of the greatest talents in English football made his Premier League debut for Tottenham at the age of nineteen. Alli quickly becomes a regular player. In his first professional season he has 33 games and 10 goals. A year later it’s 37 games and 18 goals. Already at the age of 23 he cracked the 70-goal mark. David Beckham had only scored 49 goals at that age, Steven Gerrard 36 and Frank Lampard 35.
The footballing world was full of praise for Alli. He has even been compared to Ronaldinho. It should have been a glorious career. But despite his exceptional talent, he had a problem that then-Spurs coach José Mourinho addressed publicly. Alli is lazy and doesn’t train well.
All self-confidence has been lost with Alli. He no longer attracted attention with decisive goals, but rather with a lack of consistency. It follows an unsuccessful move to Everton. Last summer we went on loan to Besiktas. But instead of going up in Istanbul, things are only going down. He has to put up with whistles from his own fans and public criticism from his own coach. They want to get rid of him as soon as possible.
Why Alli’s career is so stagnant cannot be answered conclusively. In addition to football reasons, there are also personal reasons. However, he has not lost his love for football. In an Instagram post just before Christmas, he can be seen with a ball in his arms in front of his chest. It reads: “You saved my life. That’s why I will always love you.” Because unlike some of his childhood friends, Alli made it to the top economically from highly problematic circumstances.
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