Soccer

Dele Alli aims thinly-veiled dig at Jose Mourinho with Mauricio Pochettino claim

Dele Alli has heaped praise on former manager Mauricio Pochettino, claiming that he was lucky to play under the Argentine at Tottenham.

Alli, who saw a move to PSG fall through last month, has found himself facing an uncertain future at Spurs, having fallen out of favour under Pochettino's replacement Jose Mourinho.

Mourinho has seemingly frozen the England midfielder out of his first-team plans, with Alli making just five appearances in the Premier League so far this season.

Indeed, the majority of Alli's appearances have come in cup competitions and ahead of Thursday night's Europa League clash with Wolfsberger, the midfielder has hailed his former boss.

Dele, as reported by The Sun, said: "I was very lucky to have a manager like Pochettino – he was an unbelievable guy and very experienced.

“He would pull me in if I was doing dumb stuff and speak with me.

“Not like a dad – but that sort of vibe.”

The comments could be seen as a thinly-veiled dig at Mourinho, with the boss publicly criticising the midfielder this season.

Alli was linked with a reunion with Pochettino, now in charge of French giants Paris Saint-Germain, but saw a move failed to materalise.

And speaking last month, Mourinho seemingly challenged Alli to fight for his future.

Asked whether Alli was frustrated with his lack of game time, the Spurs boss said "unhappy" players fell into two categories – those who continued to work hard and those who did not.

And he appeared to suggest that Alli fell into the latter category.

“In every dressing room are unhappy players,” Mourinho said. “For sure. If any one of us, of my tribe, tells you that in his dressing room are only happy players,

"I don’t think it’s true. Or somebody is so so lucky to have a miracle in his hands.

“Then you can have [an] unhappy professional and the unhappy professional is the one that is unhappy but feels that his duty is to work, work, work and work.

"And there is the unhappy player that believes that it’s not his job to fight and to work every minute for the squad and for the club.”

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