Tottenham Hotspur just celebrated the return of Dele Alli to the starting lineup, with the midfielder scoring two penalties — including the winning spot kick in a shootout — in Spurs’ win over Watford in the Carabao Cup. Now, a report from Jack Pitt-Brooke in the Independent suggests that Spurs are close to agreeing to a new deal with Dele that will keep him a Spurs player and reward him for his excellent play.
Pitt-Brooke doesn’t go into many details about the contract, but notes that there has apparently been a “breakthrough” in ongoing discussions between club and player. Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino has been effusive with praise for Dele after his League Cup performance — the match was his return to Milton Keynes and MK Dons’ stadium, the club that brought him up through the ranks before his move to north London, and Pochettino gave him the captain’s armband as a show of support and encouragement.
Pochettino also noted in recent comments to the press that Alli has matured and is showing leadership qualities that maybe weren’t apparent when he first joined the club. “He is more mature and has more experience,” he said. “When you are young you do some crazy things. But he has grown up now.”
Spurs made no signings in the summer transfer window but did secure new contracts for Pochettino, Harry Kane, Davinson Sanchez, Erik Lamela, and Son Heung-Min as chairman Daniel Levy tried to keep the core of the squad together. Getting Dele to sign on the dotted line is another statement of intent, especially with a ton of big clubs already looking sidelong at Dele as he continues to improve.
Naturally, we shouldn’t count our chickens before they hatch (we’ve been waiting on new contracts for Christian Eriksen and Toby Alderweireld for months), but this would be a fantastic thing to have happen. Let’s hope it does.