Dele Alli had the footballing world at his feet just a few years ago as his electric form under Mauricio Pochettino at Tottenham Hotspur made him one of the best attacking talents across the continent.
But now the 26-year-old finds his career in decline, having agreed to join Super Lig outfit Besiktas on loan from Everton in the recent summer transfer window.
Very few homegrown players have pricked the ears of the country and generated such excitement amongst the masses that Alli produced during the early days of his Spurs tenure following his move from MK Dons.
Indeed, the England dynamo provided a resounding 22 goals and 13 assists across 50 appearances throughout the 2016/17 campaign, which led to high praise and comparisons to Premier League greats such as Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard.
“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,” ex-Lilywhites man Darren Anderton once claimed.
By 2018, he was valued to be the most expensive midfielder across the planet at €163.4m (£141.7m), according to CIES Football Observatory‘s calculations.
But as Jose Mourinho warned, he may soon live to regret his lack of application behind the scenes. Amazon’s series, ‘All or Nothing: Tottenham Hotspur’ in 2020 caught a candid conversation between the two.
“I am 56 now and yesterday, yesterday I was 20, and today I’m 56, time flies and I think one day I think you will regret if you don’t reach what you can reach.
“I’m not expecting you to be man of the match every game, I’m not expecting you to score goals every game, I want just to tell you that I think you will regret.
“You should demand more from you, not me, demanding more from you, not me, nobody, you, I think you should demand more from you.”
Back in January, chairman Daniel Levy finally sanctioned his departure after several seasons of poor form and dwindling confidence, agreeing on an eye-watering £40m deal with top-flight rivals Everton.
Although the bulk would’ve come through performance-related clauses, it was certainly an extraordinary amount that the Spurs supremo managed to get accepted.
That chapter of his tumultuous recent story lasted a mere six months as he now finds himself in Turkey, playing alongside ex-Tottenham flop Georges-Kevin N’Koudou, who too had bags of potential when arriving at Hotspur Way, only to be shipped out to Besiktas.
Slammed as being “lazy” throughout his career, it’s perhaps little surprise to have seen Alli’s career take such a drastic turn but on the above evidence, it’s fair to argue that Spurs played a blinder when it came to offloading him from their books, having once been on around £100k-per-week.
From world-beater to has-been, it would be surprising to see the 26-year-old bounce back from the depths of Eastern Europe to ever play a part in the Premier League or international stage again, so Levy and co masterminded a pretty remarkable sale indeed.