Tottenham Hotspur released its official list of squad numbers today, and while Dele Alli is keeping his number for Tottenham Hotspur, his new shirt will have a different name. Spurs announced on social media today that its young superstar will keep the number 20 that he wore on his shirt last season, but his kit will have only the name “Dele” on the back, and not his surname.
.@Dele_Alli will retain number 20 but for personal reasons has elected to have the name 'DELE' displayed on the reverse of his match shirts.— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) August 12, 2016
.@Dele_Alli: “I wanted a name on my shirt that represented who I am and I feel I have no connection with the Alli surname."— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) August 12, 2016
Dele has a complicated relationship with his birth parents, who gave him up at 13 to keep him out of trouble and away from gangs. Dele now refers to the family that took him in as his adopted parents.
We don’t know yet whether he prefers to be called “Dele” in all club communications or not, so we’ll go on referring to him as Dele Alli in articles for now until we receive further clarity.
Other revelations from Tottenham’s kit numbers include first team numbers for (as expected) Marcus Edwards, Tom Glover, Anton Walkes, Will Miller, and Shayon Harrison. Perhaps surprisingly, Luke Amos and young keeper Alfie Whiteman also got first team numbers, which is neat.
There are also numbers (at least for now) for Clinton N’Jie, DeAndre Yedlin, and Nabil Bentaleb. Bentaleb however has lost his #6 number from last season and has returned to #42, which he wore when he first broke through into the first team. Victor Wanyama got DeAndre Yedlin’s #12 shirt, and Yedlin has switched to #32, which he wore in preseason.
As always, it’s now safe for you to purchase a Spurs kit with a name and number on the back of it. If you see a 2016-17 kit with the name “Alli” on the back, be sure to point and snicker behind your hand.
UPDATE: The club has announced that any fans who bought a “Alli 20” shirt can send them in and Dele will sign them and send them back. Classy move!
Here’s the full list of Tottenham Hotspur confirmed kit numbers.