Eric Dier has told Tottenham teammate Dele Alli he must show “commitment”, “work” and “effort” to regain his best form.
Alli has struggled to replicate the quality he has shown in the past during recent months. The midfielder did not score a single goal after the return from lockdown last season, and there were rumours he could even leave the club in the summer.
Paris Saint-Germain were one potential suitor for Alli’s signature. However, Tottenham turned down their two offers of a paid loan – the highest being worth £4m.
The England international has now not played for his country in over a year, and has only made one start in the Premier League this season.
That was in the 1-0 loss to Everton on the opening day, and he only lasted until half-time. In fact, the last time he completed 90 minutes was back in March.
Manager Jose Mourinho was eager to divert attention away from Alli’s individual struggles after his most recent appearance. He was taken off after starting in the Champions League loss to Royal Antwerp.
Alli’s struggles have seen him advised to re-consider an exit in the January transfer window by some. However, teammate Dier thinks the 24-year-old can still prove himself at Tottenham.
“Dele has the capacity, we all know his quality,” Dier said. “We all know what he brings, he’s shown that in the past.
“It’s really up to him to put in the work, the effort, the commitment and I’m sure he will do that.
“That’s who he is, he’s always had that drive. It’s up to him, it’s in his hands and it’s in all of our hands.
“Individually, we all have to perform, we’ve got a very big squad and we all have to perform at the highest level if we want to play.”
Dier talks Tottenham motivation
In contrast, Dier has been a key player for Spurs this year. He has started all but one of their seven Premier League games so far, and Mourinho has singled him out for praise.
Having only suffered one defeat, Tottenham are currently in the top four. And Dier confirms they have big ambitions this season.
“We’re happy with where we are, we could be happier,” he said. “If you look at some games – the Newcastle game with the penalty, again, very difficult to understand.
“The Everton game wasn’t acceptable and then the West Ham game the same, really frustrating to be 3-0 up (and draw 3-3).
“It was really important for us to get off the mark at home, get the win and obviously we’ve improved massively away from home which was really our downfall last season.
“It’s great to be up and running with a win at home and we’ll just look to keep working hard, keep pushing forward.
“Our motivation is clear. For us, we’re going into every game to try and win. We know that’s not possible but that’s our ambition.
“We’re going into every game, no matter the competition, believing we can win. That’s a great feeling and it’s a great feeling to have.
“That’s the objective and the manager sets that tone from above.
“There’s not much more I can say because we’re really focused on ourselves and we’re focused on Thursday now, the Europa League game.
“The work with the manager has been great because you know where you stand every game and he wants to win it and the focus is completely on that.
“That’s his focus, no matter what the competition is. That’s always his focus and our focus.
“Anything other than that is for others to discuss. I guess we’re just really focused in the moment.”