Fans who were hoping that Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Dele might be brought in out of the cold for Spurs’ Premier League match at Burnley today are going to be left disappointed. According to The Athletic’s David Ornstein, Dele has been left out of the traveling squad completely and did not make the trip to Turf Moor.
Dele Alli left out of Tottenham squad that travelled north for tonight’s game at Burnley. 24yo fit but doesn’t appear part of Jose Mourinho’s PL plans for now as uncertainty over his future grows. More with @lauriewhitwell & co @TheAthleticUK #THFC #BURTOT https://t.co/oeKmvGTwRu— David Ornstein (@David_Ornstein) October 26, 2020
It’s getting hard to fathom why this continues to happen. Dele has now been left home in four of Tottenham’s six league matches this year, and was used only as a substitute in Spurs’ Europa League win over LASK last week. He’s obviously not in Mourinho’s plans in attacking midfield, but it’s interesting that he’s not getting a look at all, even as a central midfielder. And we know that Dele absolutely knows how to play as a traditional midfielder, as that was his role when he emerged at MK Dons.
There’s been a ton of talk that Dele’s preferred role as a more traditional 10 doesn’t mesh well with Jose Mourinho’s tactics at Spurs, and that’s fair. But it really does seem odd that Mourinho doesn’t seem to be making much of an effort to find a position within his system that Dele can play. (The counter-argument to this is that Dele is still figuring that out himself, hence the omissions.) Spurs have a pretty potent attack and they certainly seem to be doing well without him, but it still feels weird to see Dele drop so far down the pecking order so quickly.
All I know is that Dele’s too good a talent not to at least be on the bench, and if he’s not going to be used, then it’s probably in both Spurs and his interest that he be sold as soon as possible.