Pochettino compared Dele Alli to Ronaldinho and Diego Maradona during his early years at Tottenham… Who could have predicted that at the age of 26, he would be unwanted by Everton and on his way to Besiktas? Dele Alli rose to prominence at Tottenham Hotspur under Mauricio Pochettino. However, the former MK Dons youngster’s career at Spurs has steadily declined. Jose Mourinho tried to save his career in north London, but he struggled. He eventually left for Frank Lampard and Everton, but they were unable to save him. The Toffees are now willing to cash in, with Turkish side Besiktas a possible destination. Published: 17:31 EDT, August 16, 2022 | Updated: 18:16 EDT, August 16, 2022
The heights he attained during his peak, as well as the names that came to mind when one of his former managers and mentors discussed Dele Alli, seem a long way away right now.
Everton no longer wants the man who was once one of the game’s bright prospects. They don’t have a lot of attacking talent, so they’re happy to let Alli go to Turkey. Even if much of it was self-inflicted, Alli’s decline is still a source of sadness for those who remember the good old days. Dele Alli, the Everton midfielder, has emerged as a surprise transfer target for Turkish club Besiktas. There were many of those as well, most notably at Tottenham under Mauricio Pochettino. ‘Maradona was a talented, gifted player; so strong, physicality, natural body that’s strong, quick, powerful; but then his character, it’s winning, the DNA,’ said Pochettino. ‘His charisma is his best asset; when he walks into a room, everyone looks at him, everyone wants to touch him, everyone wants to take a picture with him.’ Ronaldinho’s time at PSG was similar. And Dele is similar in this regard. Kids idolized him when he was scoring goals, as if he were Ronaldinho. Kids pick up on this charisma and energy, and Dele was no exception.’ During the first two Premier League games, the Toffees star has played a total of 38 minutes. Alli rose to prominence at Tottenham under Pochettino after joining from MK Dons for an initial £5 million fee, with a number of individual honours from his Football League days highlighting his potential. He thrived in central midfield at first, then off Harry Kane, relishing the freedom to get into attacking positions and score goals. He was named PFA Young Player of the Year two years in a row, in 2016 and 2017, and he made his England full debut with a wonder goal against France before playing a key role in the 2018 World Cup. ‘Dele was an amazing player for us; the hunger, energy, and aggression,’ Pochettino said on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football in 2020. Mauricio Pochettino brought out the best in Alli, who has since struggled to match those heights. That spark and edge have faded in recent years, a process that began when Pochettino moved him back into central midfield. Jose Mourinho attempted to re-employ Alli, but a promising start quickly faded, and the manager’s confrontational style did not help rebuild Alli, who fell out of favor. Some have speculated that Alli has lost interest in the game. He fared no better under Nuno Espirito Santo, and the damage was done by the time Antonio Conte arrived at Spurs in November.
Frank Lampard, one of England’s greatest goalscoring midfielders, appeared to be the ideal candidate for the Everton job, but he, too, has been unable to figure out what makes the 26-year-old tick.
Who could have predicted Alli would be in this sorry state during what should have been his prime years, when he was shining under Pochettino? During their time together at Spurs, Antonio Conte was also unable to extract Alli’s former self.