Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho is determined to bring back the “real Dele Alli” and help the England international rediscover his best form.
Injuries and poor performances have seen midfielder Alli fall out of the reckoning with the Three Lions, but Spurs’ new head coach has plans to reinvigorate the 23-year-old.
“I have already spoken with him and I asked him if he was Dele or Dele’s brother,” Mourinho explained ahead of Saturday’s Premier League match at West Ham.
“He told me he was Dele. ‘OK,’ I said. ‘Play like Dele’.
“I think he is potentially a fantastic player. Now I have to create a tactical situation he is happy with, give him the right dynamics and prepare him physically well because he has had important injuries and he is not on the top of his form.
“I cannot expect him to play on Saturday – if he plays – and go there and be man of the match.
“But he needs to go through a process that will bring the real Dele back because the real Dele is the one who in the last few years has impressed us all.”
Mourinho, who has inherited a squad of players he is so enthusiastic about that he says he does not need any January signings, feels striker Harry Kane needs to start winning trophies to go to the next level and wants to help him do it at Tottenham.
Following this week’s sacking of Mauricio Pochettino, Mourinho is charged with resurrecting Spurs’ season and eventually ending their trophy drought.
Kane is surely going to be a major part of that as Mourinho has a history of working with – and getting the best out of – top strikers.
The 26-year-old England captain’s goal-scoring record is as good as it gets, but he has yet to win any silverware either for club or country.
And Mourinho says he will not be considered among the world’s best until he starts winning things.
“He’s one of the best strikers in the world,” he said. “He’s one of the best strikers in the world, no doubt, no doubt.
“He just needs his team, with him, if his team is England or if his team is Tottenham, he just needs his team to bring him, or to go with him to the next level.
“And what is the next level? Titles.
“I think he needs to win, with us, with England, he needs to bring something to highlight the quality that he has as a player.
“The goals he scores, what he brings to the team. Top striker. I’ve worked with some of the top ones.”