Aston Villa manager Dean Smith could revive England and Spurs star Dele Alli’s career amid Dean Windass’ transfer claim.
Alli has endured a difficult spell in north London over the past 12 to 18 months, with former Spurs boss Jose Mourinho sidelining him from the starting line-up and even the matchday squad on occasion – he played just 15 times in the Premier League last term, and even that only amounted to 617 minutes of football.
Windass has now suggested that the 25-year-old should make the move to Villa Park, and he even claimed that it wouldn’t necessarily have to be in place of Jack Grealish either.
The 52-year-old told Football FanCast: “I think that would suit Dele Alli, he would be a big player for Villa. I know he’s a different type of player to Jack, but with him being young and English.
“Dele wants to play, players want to play, they’re not happy when they’re not playing. Would be a good fit for Villa even if they keep Jack, to strengthen the team, he would be unbelievable. They would probably want £50m-£60m for Dele Alli, but that’s the type of player Dean Smith would want to bring in if Jack left.”
During the 2016/17 Premier League campaign, the £100,000-a-week earning Alli scored a whopping 18 goals from midfield and pocketed a second successive Young PFA Player of the Year award to crown off an outstanding season which displayed the potential and ability he has.
It’s no surprise that he’s earned some rave reviews, not least from former England international Darren Anderton, who said: “I’ve got to say that I loved Stevie G as a player and Scholesy but Dele Alli for his age is just a freak of a talent. I love his arrogance on the pitch, how clever he is in finding the positions that he does and his willingness to try everything. He is a real joy to watch.”
Eric Dier, Alli’s current teammate at Spurs, said (via The Independent): “Everyone knows his qualities, but I think he also has a lot of qualities which go unnoticed. The amount of second balls he wins, the amount he runs for the team and presses.
“He’s always attached to the game, it’s like he’s on a string to the ball. He is always attached to the game in every moment and that’s a great quality to have.”
While things may not have worked out for the 25-year-old at Tottenham in the past couple of years, Smith would surely feel confident of getting the £27m-rated Alli to rediscover his best form with a move to Villa Park, just like he’s turned Grealish into a superstar now.
The duo could form an incredible partnership going forward, with Grealish’s creativity and Alli’s ability to score goals from deep combining to great effect.
The ability is there; it’s just a question of getting the best out of him with the right manager. Smith could well be that man.