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Spurs boss Nuno Santo must axe Dele Alli vs West Ham

Tottenham Hotspur return to Premier League action this afternoon and they’ll be looking to bounce back from Thursday’s embarrassing defeat to Vitesse in the UEFA Europa Conference League.

Nuno Santo and his side make the short trip across the capital to face West Ham United at the London Stadium, where they know that another loss would see them leapfrogged in the table.

Last time out, Spurs clinched a 3-2 win on their travels, beating Newcastle United, so the Portuguese will want to continue their good form in the top-flight with a third victory in as many games.

The Irons will be a tough test, however, so Nuno must get his starting XI absolutely spot on. And based on their midweek showing, he has been right to leave Dele Alli out of the lineup in their past two domestic outings.

Should Dele Alli start against West Ham?

100%!

100%!

No way!

No way!

He has not featured in the Premier League since being hooked at half-time against arch-rivals Arsenal in the north London derby several weeks ago.

And against Vitesse, he was abysmal once again. SofaScore graded him as Spurs’ worst player (5.8), having lost 89% of his nine midfield duels, lost possession 14 times, committed two fouls and was dribbled past on a further two occasions, passenger-like.

Perhaps it isn’t a coincidence that the Lilywhites ended a run of three straight heavy defeats just as he’s dropped from the lineup.

The 25-year-old midfielder has really struggled to have any sort of impact in N17 over the past 18 to 24 months – it’s gone from ex-boss Jose Mourinho deeming him “lazy” to former Premier League forward Noel Whelan describing him a “bang average player“.

On Thursday’s evidence, Alli isn’t going to break into the XI anytime soon, even despite the Portuguese head coach vowing to improve his fortunes. If anything, it shows that the manager knows he is horribly out of sorts at the moment.

“All the players in our squad, we have to realise that during their careers there are ups and downs,” Nuno said. “It is my job to try and make the best out of them, Dele included.”

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Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne in action with Tottenham Hotspur's Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg

Okay, we'll start with an easy one... How much did Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg cost last summer?

The £27m-rated Englishman was once a creative and lethal influence from attacking midfield – highlighted by his ten goals and nine assists in 2015/16, his whopping 18 goals and seven assists a season later, and nine goals and ten assists in 2017/18, via WhoScored.

Now, he’s a shadow of his former self, having only scored nine goals and provided five assists since the start of the 2019/20 season.

On the above evidence, Alli’s early-season involvement may have been holding Spurs back and Thursday night’s defeat in Holland was merely another reminder of his poor form.

The out-of-form midfielder must be axed as he’s no longer good enough to warrant a start for Tottenham.

AND in other news, Spurs receive frustrating Dusan Vlahovic update as major journalist claim emerges…

Article title: Spurs boss Nuno Santo must axe Dele Alli vs West Ham

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