Dele Alli’s former manager makes bold prediction about Everton midfielder

Dele Alli joined Everton from Tottenham Hotspur in January 2022.
Dele Alli. Picture: George Wood/Getty ImagesDele Alli. Picture: George Wood/Getty Images
Dele Alli. Picture: George Wood/Getty Images

Dele Alli has been championed to get his career back on track - by one of his former managers.

The Everton midfielder heads into the 2023-24 season with his future shrouded in uncertainty. Alli was once regarded as one of the most exciting young players in the world after he joined Tottenham Hotspur from MK Dons for £5 million in 2015.

After helping England to reach the World Cup semi-finals in 2018 and Tottenham to the Champions League final a year later, Alli has been on a downward trajectory in recent years. His performances leaves at Spurs jettisoned under managers Mauricio PochettinoJose MourinhoNuno Espirito Santo and Antonio Conte before he joined Everton in January 2022.

However, the 27-year-old failed to make a real impact at Goodison Park and was loaned out to Besiktas last campaign. But he endured a difficult time for the Turkish side as he made 17 appearances, scoring three goals. Alli cut his time at Besiktas short as he required a hip operation in April.

It remains to be seen whether Alli will be in Sean Dyche’s Everton plans for the upcoming season. What’s more, the Blues will have to pay Tottenham £10 million if he makes seven more outings.

Karl Robinson was responsible for giving Alli his breakthrough at MK Dons when he was a precocious teenager. Plenty have concluded that he will never be able to hit the lofty heights he was operated at.

But Robinson, speaking on talkSPORT, believes that Alli must not seek a quick fix and must look at the longer term.

What’s been said

The former Oxford United and Charlton Athletic boss said: “I don’t overly think it’s because of finances - there are so many other fundamental factors in life and it’s sometimes difficult to restrain and strangle talent. It doesn’t always have to be yourself, it can be external pressure and external people, it can be the wrong people, the wrong moment at the wrong times.

“There are multiple players we can speak about who, at one stage, put at the top of the tree to almost sometimes fall and maybe catch them and build them back up.

“Control himself in how he prepares to train. In the modern-day game, it’s not just about the 90 minutes you perform because there are so many good players nowadays.

“A player who underachieves on his talent - there are so many different factors. That can be a mental component, external influences and, for me, it’s the players who are so selfish, weirdly, that selfish trait to be the best that would be snarled at outside of our industry. You have to have that and sometimes when you have that and people speak about it, it’s something you don’t really want because people will criticise you for having it.

“You’ve got to disconnect from the noise to be the best player in the world. I hope so (Alli can bounce back). I think he will. He has the talent. For me, that’s a big point. When big players don’t play on big stages, you lose something. It makes you the best version of yourself and he hasn’t had that.

“He needs to find something within him like he did when he was 17 and 18 when he first went to Spurs and first stepped on the pitch for England. He has to find that again and it’s almost a longer road back - not look for a quick fix but a longer-term fix.”

Alli has one year remaining on his Everton contract.