How Dele Alli is suffering a steady decline at Spurs

Two years ago, Dele Alli was labelled one of the best young talents in world football. Sir Alex-Ferguson even tipped the English midfielder to become as good as Paul Gascoigne. However, the 23-year-old has found himself declining at an age where he should be in his prime.

The English midfielder has added a creativity and attacking threat to Tottenham’s midfield that had been lacking for several years. Alli was the winner of the PFA Young Player of the Year for two successive seasons in 2016 and 2017.

Alli was the fastest midfielder to score 36 goals in his first 100 league games, making him the highest in Europe above Eden Hazard at just 20 years of age.

Critics have noticed Alli’s fall from grace since his impressive campaign in 2016/17. The 23-year-old stunned the Premier League that season with 22 goals and 13 assists, but the English midfielder has failed the retain the same form since.

His goal scoring form has fallen dramatically since his 22 in 46 games in the 2016/17 season. He only managed to score 14 goals from 42 the following season, prior to just scoring seven in 38 matches last season, including just one goal in the calendar year.

As for assists, his total, as well as overall chances created have both halved since 2017-18.

The Spurs star has only started three matches out of ten for Mauricio Pochettino’s side this season and has been left on the bench for the majority of the campaign as he continues to under-perform.

Tottenham’s Champions League match against Bayern Munich was a chance for Dele to prove himself again on the big stage, however, he was hauled off the field as Spurs suffered a humiliating 7-2 defeat to the German side, with Alli displaying a poor performance once again.

It is not just pundits who have noticed his poor form, Alli has come under the firing line from football fans around the country and has been piled with criticism on social media. 

Last summer, Alli was one of the main faces of the England team that completed the incredible journey to the World Cup semi-finals in Russia. He played a pivotal role in the Three Lions squad and it was his goal that secured a 2-0 win against Sweden in the quarter-finals.

The Englishman’s stats for his country have improved over the years nonetheless, but it has not been enough to impress Gareth Southgate. Alli’s form for club and country this season resulted in him being snubbed from the latest international squad to play in the Euro 2020 qualifiers.

The stats show that Alli is facing a steady decline, however, his playing time on the field has been continuously interrupted by injuries which could be a reason for his poor form. The Spurs midfielder was side-lined for 98 matches last season with four different injuries. He played a told of 2966 minutes last season which was nearly half the 4013 minutes he played in 2016/17. 

Dele Alli undoubtedly had his best season in 2016/17. The Englishman managed 2.0 shots and 0.5 goals per game, however his decline has shown following his attempt of 1.3 shots and 0.2 goals per game last season. It also seems that Spurs head coach Pochettino has shown less faith in his midfielder over the years, as Alli’s average game time fell from 82 minutes per match in 2017 to 73 minutes in 2018. 

It is becoming apparent that Alli is on the road to redemption, however, as the midfielder has reportedly hired a personal nutritionist and cut all commercial activities in hope of recapturing his best form. 

Despite his poor form, the statistics show that Tottenham are not the same team without Dele Alli. The North London side have a win percentage of 55% without him compared to a 62% win percentage when the Englishman has been involved.

His market value may have dropped by £11 million since last year, valuing the midfielder at £81 million, however, Dele Alli is only 23-years-old and despite his poor form, he still has time to return to his best, although he has plenty to do. 

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