Conte unconcerned by Dele Alli return to face Spurs

Antonio Conte says he is unconcerned by Dele Alli’s return to face Tottenham as the north London side host Everton on Monday evening.

Spurs welcome Everton to the capital this evening as the club look to close the gap on the Premier League’s top four, with Conte’s side set to face a familiar face as Alli makes his first return to his former side.


Spurs allowed the midfielder to sign for Everton during the January transfer window, following a frustrating period for the 25-year-old in which he struggled for form.

Alli endured a meteoric rise after signing for the north Londoners from MK Dons as a teenager, winning back-to-back PFA Young Player of the Year awards and establishing himself as a regular with England at international level.

The midfielder’s career has stalled in recent campaigns, however, and he was allowed to sign for Everton on an initial free transfer during the winter window, though that fee could rise to around £30m should performance-related clauses be met.

Conte believes the deal was a good decision for both the club and player and says Alli deserves respect for his achievements at Spurs.

“It was a good decision for the player and for the club,” Conte said at his pre-match press conference.

“I can tell you that in the period we worked together I tried to get the best out of him. He was always available in training but in the end it was a good decision for him and he deserves big respect for what he did for this club. He’s young and has all the time to take his career in his own hands.”

Conte was questioned on whether Alli would have additional motivation ahead of his return, but insisted he is not concerned by the prospect of the now Everton midfielder haunting his former side.

“Honestly, I don’t remember a player that had revenge with me. When some players went away, usually they went down, not up — usually.”

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