Dele Alli has admitted that he is ‘working hard’ to rediscover his form after what has been a stark dropoff from the Tottenham Hotspur playmaker.
He was once regarded as one of the most highly-rated youngsters in European football, but it’s safe to say Dele Alli has firmly gone off the boil in the last year or so.
In his first three seasons in the Premier League, Alli registered 37 goals and 29 assists, though over the last season-and-a-half, he has seen his output drop to just 12 goals and five assists, losing his place in Gareth Southgate’s England side in recent months.
Jose Mourinho’s appointment as Spurs boss in November saw an instant, yet brief upturn in Alli’s fortunes, scoring three in his first three games under the Portuguese, though has added just two more goals to his tally in the subsequent nine league fixtures.
Speaking ahead of today’s clash with Manchester City, the 23-year-old has discussed his desire to rediscover his form and even exceed his ‘previous level’.
“I have been working a lot in the gym, to try and get back to a higher level, not just my previous level. I’m feeling good now,” Alli told Sky Sports.
“It’s been steady growth again. I am always trying to get better, and if I had a bad game, you can ask my friends, I’m the first person to know. And if I’m not playing well, I know. I’m not somebody to try and hide from it.
“I know myself when I’m not playing well. I expect a lot from myself, so I don’t think anybody would expect more for me than what I do.
“The more mature I’m getting, the more I’m playing, and learning not just about football but about life.
“It’s nice to be praised, but the same people can be waiting to shoot you down. So you keep working hard, and listen to the right people. Whoever you choose to listen to is the main thing; the manager, players, team-mates and people around the club, their opinion is important.
“I think I can always do better. I’ve played well in some games, and in others I know I haven’t played good enough.”