Jose Mourinho is hoping Dele Alli can make a telling contribution to Tottenham now speculation around his future has stopped.
Alli was keen on a January loan move to Paris St Germain having been frozen out by boss Mourinho in the first half of the season, but Spurs blocked an exit.
The narrative immediately changed after the transfer window closed, with Mourinho saying he was ready to reintegrate the 24-year-old back into his squad when he had recovered from a tendon injury having found “common ground” in a meeting.
That has now happened and he could be on the bench for the FA Cup fifth-round tie at Everton on Wednesday night.
Asked what has changed to see Alli return to Mourinho’s thinking, the Portuguese said: “Nothing changed. He’s not injured, he can train with the team. He went through a process of not training and trained with the sports science people and then jumped to team-work which he did on Monday for the first time.
“Nothing changed, what maybe changed is the speculation around him because in this moment everybody knows that he’s a Tottenham player and he doesn’t go to any place. So probably the end of the speculation and will be end the questions.
“He can train and he can try to help the team because this is what we want. It’s what we need. We need players to help the team.
“Hopefully he can do that. In normal situation he wouldn’t even be considered for Everton but with the injuries we have with so many matches we have, maybe we have to accelerate his process and maybe we can.
“But of course I want him to be fully on board and to agree and depends on his feelings. But if he can be on the bench (on Wednesday) and to come for 10 or 15 minutes to help the team that would be good for us.”
Serge Aurier is a doubt after limping off in the weekend win over West Brom with a calf problem while Sergio Reguilon (muscle) and Giovani Lo Celso (hamstring) are long-term absentees.
“Serge Aurier left the game (with) a little problem. Can he play (on Wednesday)? I don’t know, I don’t think so but we have a training session later in the afternoon,” Mourinho said.
“The players didn’t arrive yet so he’s one to give a look. Gio Lo Celso, Sergio Reguilon no chance.
“Dele trained (on Monday) with the team as well. Long time away, couple of weeks no training with team and recovering. Can he play (on Wednesday)? Well, he’s not injured but I’m not sure he can. Can he help us? I believe he can.
“In terms of having Dele on the bench to come for a few minutes to try to help the team, is that possible? I have to speak with him but I believe he can.”
The trip to Goodison Park marks the start of a crucial few weeks in Spurs’ season as they aim to make progress in the FA Cup, Europa League and stay in touch with the Premier League top four ahead of April’s Carabao Cup final against Manchester City.
“We have a cup in the pocket, waiting for us,” Mourinho said.
“Normally it’s played now but we play at the end of April. We don’t forget that final but it’s there closed in the pocket and the moment will arrive.
“The Europa League is a competition where we played already an incredible nine matches and we’re going with everything to the next round to try to progress.
“And of course, the FA Cup draw is not easy, we play a team with great potential and ambitions in the competition like we have. So let’s go (on Wednesday).”