In an exclusive interview with Football FanCast‘s Tom Ward, former England midfielder Carlton Palmer waxed lyrical over “talented” Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Dele Alli after his impact from the bench this weekend.
Jose Mourinho’s side could only muster up a draw at Crystal Palace on Sunday afternoon, but still managed to keep their place atop the Premier League table ahead of this week’s stern test against defending champions, Liverpool.
Alli, who has been linked with an exit in January, has barely featured in the top-flight this season. Indeed it was only the third time he was actually named in their matchday squad.
In all competitions, the 24-year-old has played just 338 minutes, though Palmer was impressed with what he saw against the Eagles during his five-minute cameo.
He told FFC:
“He’s a young lad and without a doubt, he’s a talented player. If he takes that on board, which is the side of his game which is missing.
“It’s just like [Jack] Grealish. Jack Grealish has done that.
“When they had the break just before the end of the season, where Villa had those three or four weeks where they had to change things around because they were as good as down. Jack Grealish has realised that’s [defensive duties] part of the game now.
“He knows he has the ability on the ball, but he now knows what he has to do off the ball. And he’s doing that now.
“Dele Alli can turn his career around as simple as that.
“As he did on Sunday when I realised that and Mourinho’s the type of person that will give him plenty of confidence and will have told him ‘this is what I expect from you’.”
According to the Daily Mirror, Premier League rivals Everton are a potential destination for the out-of-favour attacking midfielder, who is currently valued at a whopping €70m (£64m) by CIES Football Observatory.
Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain could well reignite their loan interest from the summer too, as per Sky Sports, so Alli won’t be short of options.
However, if Alli continues to display a new defensive side to his game as Palmer suggests, then there could well be a future for him under Mourinho in N17 – as unlikely as that currently seems right now.