Dele Alli can still get back on track after the Everton star’s career seemingly hit a new nadir and despite a brutal destruction from talkSPORT pundit Simon Jordan.
The 27-year-old is back in the UK after a loan spell with Besiktas turned sour. His career has stalled badly in recent times, with the early promise he showed at Tottenham now a distant memory.
Having been crowned the PFA Young Player of the Year for successive years in 2015/16 and 2016/17, Dele appeared to have the world at his feet.
However, after a career-high goals tally saw him score 22 times in 50 games under Mauricio Pochettino, it has been pretty much downhill ever since.
But the extent of his decline has certainly shocked many.
Following Pochettino’s sacking in the autumn of 2019, a string of managers then failed to spark Dele back to life. Indeed, Jose Mourinho was a strong supporter of the player, though efforts to revive him through a string of public admonishments failed to have the desired affect.
Nuno Espirito Santo’s spell was all too brief, while the writing was pretty much on the wall once Antonio Conte was appointed. As such, it was little surprise when he allowed to join Everton in January 2022 in a complicated deal.
An initial free transfer, the move was heavily incentified based on Alli’s success. And had he recaptured his best, the move could have been worth up to £40m for Tottenham.
Then Toffees boss Frank Lampard, though, also failed to get a tune out of the 37-times capped England star. As such, Alli was allowed to leave for Besiktas on a season’s loan last summer.
The move to Turkey, though, very quickly turned sour.
Simon Jordan turns heat on Dele Alli with furious tirade
Indeed, having seemingly failed to impress the Turkish side, the midfielder has now suffered a season-ending hip injury.
Now back in the UK with the loan due to be cancelled, Alli was recently photographed inhaling ‘hippy crack’ in a newspaper. The pictures sparked fears over the player’s well-being and career. And with the PFA and FA urged to get involved, the incident has also provoked a response from Government officials eager to take action.
The downturn in his career though has come up for debate on talkSPORT.
And former Crystal Palace chairman Jordan has shown the 27-year-old little sympathy.
“Dele Alli, for two or three years now, has wasted everybody’s time,” Jordan told talkSPORT. “His own, his employers’, his teammates’. He’s a shadow of himself and he’s chosen this path.
“He’s chosen this path beyond documentaries like ‘All or Nothing’ where you get to see a laughing, gurning idiot being told by his manager that he doesn’t train very well.
“You get to see someone turning up at Everton on a move which was a downward move in terms of there was no real fee involved. That was the valuation of him. And he turns up on a pitch looking like a refugee as I said before.”
Correcting himself somewhat, Jordan added: “An escapee is a better word, from Pirates of the Caribbean, without any form of understanding of the fact he’s going to play for one of the big Premier League clubs. And really, he should turn up looking like someone who respects the environment he’s in.”
Four clubs can save Dele Alli career – report
Alli will have a year left on his Everton deal come the summer. As a result, Dele will hold talks with Sean Dyche in the coming weeks to determine his future.
Dyche – known as something of a strict disciplinarian – will want to see where Alli’s head is at before reaching a decision.
But with his career potentially away from Everton, the Daily Express have suggested the clubs who could yet help salvage his career.
First up, the paper does not rule out him staying at Goodison and getting back on track under Dyche.
However, if a move away is to follow, they suggest two potential Championship moves may help revive his career.
First up, the report suggests Watford could prove an option. Close to his Milton Keynes routes, the Hornets still have parachute payments and could finance his wages.
Should that fail, then Huddersfield are also mentioned as would-be suitors. Under the management of veteran boss Neil Warnock, they suggest the 74-year-old would relish trying to revive Alli’s fortunes.
However, they also believe a move overseas looks the most likely outcome. And they reckon a lucrative transfer to Saudi Arabian side Al Nassr, alongside Cristiano Ronaldo, may well prove an option.
The Riyadh-based club could comfortably afford his wages. And the player’s name still carries some weight, with Alli potentially seen as another high-profile addition to their league.