In an exclusive interview with Football FanCast, former Arsenal striker John Hartson says he is confused with Dele Alli’s situation at Tottenham Hotspur this season.
The England international used to regularly hit double figures for goals and assists in a season for Spurs, but it was a different story last term as he scored seven times and set up eight more – albeit injury did affect him.
That was something that also kept him out at the very beginning of the current campaign, although he has found first-team minutes – especially in the Premier League – hard to come by on his return, playing just 30 – all of which came against Arsenal – so far in 2019/20.
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Speaking exclusively to FFC, Hartson believes the summer arrival of Tanguy Ndombele has had an effect too, with Mauricio Pochettino sometimes selecting the Frenchman alongside Harry Winks and Moussa Sissoko in a central midfield three or a diamond.
The Welshman said: “Dele Alli’s on the bench. He’s one of Spurs’ best players. I know he’s been out injured but you look at him sitting on the bench at the weekend and he looked sick as a parrot and thinking ‘what am I doing on the bench here?'”
While it wasn’t exactly surprising to see the 23-year-old dropped to the bench at the Amex after he started in the humiliating 7-2 defeat against Bayern Munich, to not even come on to try and change the game in the 3-0 defeat against Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday must have raised a few eyebrows.
The Mirror reported this week that he has hired a nutritionist and scaled back his commercial work in order to get in the right physical condition having suffered four hamstring problems in the previous 18 months.
That is exactly what the former MK Dons man needed to do, and he will hope that it leads to him regaining his spot in the starting XI on a regular basis, and firing consistently again.