By Dominic Toner
Phil Neville believes that Tottenham are missing a creative player in their squad and that Dele Alli is not the player to fill that role.
The 20-year-old is often played in the number 10 position by manager Mauricio Pochettino and tries to link the midfield with forward Harry Kane.
Christian Eriksen and Erik Lamela are also regarded as senior attacking players, but neither have them have made great starts to the season.
Spurs were eliminated from the Champions League on Tuesday night with a 2-1 defeat to Monaco and have won just once in their last nine games across all competitions.
Neville claims that the north London club will struggle to achieve success this season without a main creative player.
“I don’t think they’ve got that creative spark in their squad,” Neville told BBC Radio 5 Live. “I just think Spurs lack a little bit of something in their squad that will probably cost them doing well this season.
“I don’t think Dele Alli is the type that can play the final pass, I think he is more energy and more arriving late in the box and a goalscorer. I’m not so sure he is that player that can receive on the half turn and play the ball through the eye of a needle.”
Spurs’ main Premier League rivals all have a recognised creative spark, with Philippe Coutinho, Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne and Mesut Ozil all fitting that mould.
England international Alli is regarded as the best option at White Hart Lane, but he is yet to register assists in 16 appearances this season.
The youngster has become a crucial player at Spurs since he joined from MK Dons and is under pressure to be the club’s talisman.
Neville believes that Alli is a more traditional goalscoring midfielder and not the type that can split defences open.
Spurs remain the only unbeaten side in the Premier League despite a recent dip in form and are just four points behind leaders Chelsea, who they face at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
In other Tottenham news, this is three reasons why the club could benefit from the Europa League.