Mourinho appraises Dele Alli super-show; likens Spurs starlet to Rashford

Date published: Wednesday 24th February 2021 7:34 - Matthew Briggs

Jose Mourinho TEAMtalk

Jose Mourinho revealed Dele Alli’s showing on Wednesday was unlikely to shoot him into Tottenham’s starting line-up on Sunday, but accepted his display was very good.

Alli proved he has his mojo back as he scored a stunning overhead kick and provided two assists to send Tottenham through to the Europa League last 16 in a 4-0 second-leg win over Wolfsberger.

Alli has had a season to forget having been frozen out by boss Jose Mourinho, but enjoyed the best night of his reintegration to the squad following a failed January transfer window exit.

The England international produced a superb goal and then set up Carlos Vinicius, who added a late second, and Gareth Bale as Spurs made it through to Friday’s draw for the next round with an 8-1 aggregate win.

Mourinho told BT Sport: “It was good, we got through, won the match like we wanted and no need for the emergency plan, we played well for large periods and all four goals were beautiful. A special night for the kids who played for the first time and no injuries.

On Alli’s performance, he said: “We had a difficult period, he had an injury and at the same time talk, talk, talk about staying or leaving.

“The market closed, the injury went and he started working with motivation. He is playing very well, I am not saying in this moment we have a starting line-up because of so many matches but it is coming. The goal was beautiful but the meaning of the assists and hard work for team means more to me. That work of continuity in the performance is what makes me really happy.”

The Portuguese coach also told beIN Sports: “It was a complete performance. He (Alli) did everything well. He comes from a difficult position where things were not going well for him. But now he is coming step by step.”

Mourinho hails Scarlett

Speaking about Dane Scarlett, who at 16 years and 337 days, became the first 16-year-old to assist a Europa League goal since Kylian Mbappé in December 2015 against Tottenham, he said: “He is a diamond, a kid with incredible potential.

“He has worked many times with the first team and that gives him a different personality. He is still 16, 17 soon and I believe next season he will be a first team squad player because he has a lot of talent.

“He is going to be a fantastic player and I hope everything around him goes well. He is a striker, a number nine, I have been playing him from the sides similar to Marcus Rashford and is very clever.

“There is not one player here that I say I am not happy with, the performances were good, are they all going to start on Sunday? No but we are playing Thursday, Sunday, Thursday.”

Dier: Dele getting back to his best

Tottenham’s Eric Dier told BT Sport: “We started very well, after that we let them get back into the game too much. Second half we had complete control.

“Delighted for Dele, a fantastic goal. Step by step he is getting back to his best. In football everyone has a short memory, maybe they have forgotten his quality. Maybe tonight has reminded people of that.

“We have big ambitions and that stays the same for the Europa League. The desperation for a trophy has been there for a long time. It has been very frustrating not to get one and we will be doing everything we can to do that.”

READ MORE: Tottenham draw up plan to replace key man with 20-year-old

 

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