Tottenham head coach Jose Mourinho would not comment on the future of Dele Alli in his latest press conference, amid continued speculation that a loan move away from north London is on the cards.
The 37-cap England international has been a peripheral figure at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium throughout the 2020/21 season, despite initially recapturing his best form after Mourinho succeeded Mauricio Pochettino as boss in November 2019.
Dele has played just 12 games in all competitions, but crucially has appeared just four times in the Premier League. Instead, he has seen the majority of his action in second string Tottenham sides used in the Europa League, and played just 65 minutes of the FA Cup third round tie against eighth tier Marine before he was sacrificed for Gareth Bale.
A reunion with Pochettino at Paris Saint-Germain has been mooted, but Mourinho remained tight lipped when probed about his future ahead of Spurs’ Premier League clash with Sheffield United.
“It’s not a question that I’m comfortable to answer you,” Mourinho said. “Of course, I will know how to answer you. But I’m not ready to answer, I’m not ready to make public my my vision of the situation. I’m sorry about that, but I’m not going to answer.
When asked whether Spurs would like to replace any player who leaves, Mourinho remained defiant – suggesting the remark put to him was merely another way to get an answer about where Dele’s future may lie.
“You are asking that question in a general way. But you are, of course, speaking about Dele so the question that you are asking me is if I would let that go without getting a player in exchange? And I’m not going to answer that question to you.
Mourinho then fielded questions around Dele’s general happiness, after a picture posted on the player’s Instagram page after the midweek draw against Fulham suggested the 24-year-old was rather fed up with life. The Portuguese boss simply said that every dressing room has players who aren’t pleased with their situation, but some choose to react and behave differently to others.
“I think in every dressing room are unhappy players. For sure, if any one of my tribe tells you that in his dressing room are only happy players, I don’t think is true. Or somebody is so so lucky to have a miracle in his hands, because I believe that in every dressing room, there are unhappy players.
“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 that believes that is not his job, to fight and to work every minute for the squad and for the club. But unhappy players you have everywhere in every club. I promise you that.”
Mourinho concluded with a word on Bale, who has failed to hit the ground running during his loan spell back at the club after a succession of injuries. Again though, he remained coy on specifics, and instead praised the Welshman’s character by speaking fondly of him as a person.
“Gareth Bale is a player I always loved. In fact, he went to Real Madrid one season later because I spoke with with the president when when I was there. He is a guy that I like very much as a person, is a really really nice guy and a dressing room. The reasons why he didn’t reach in this period the level that Tottenham supporters remember him is a complex, complex answer.
“I believe that if Gareth was here on my side we could we do try to speak a little bit about it, but just by myself I’m not comfortable.
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