Alex McLeish has insisted there has been something “seriously wrong” with Dele Alli at Tottenham this season.
The former Scotland manager, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, admitted many may blame Jose Mourinho for his treatment of the 24-year-old but revealed he supported the Spurs boss.
Alli lit up the Europa League on Wednesday evening as he scored an overhead goal and chipped in with a further two assists against Wolfsberger.
Speaking after Wednesday’s game, Mourinho admitted it was “amazing” to have Alli back playing at a high level after a frustrating campaign.
The England midfielder has started just eight times – once in the Premier League – in 16 appearances this term.
McLeish suggested Alli had seriously suffered mentally throughout the season but insisted Mourinho was not to blame.
“People will probably criticise Jose, I would tend to go on the side of supporting him,” McLeish told Football Insider.
“Dele maybe wasn’t quite at his best mentally, maybe physically. Something would have been seriously wrong with his mentality or something.
“We don’t know, you don’t always know what’s going on in somebody’s head.
“If Dele comes out and says I needed this kind of shake-up then that’s a triumph for the manager. If there are other things, then we don’t know.”
Alli has featured in Spurs’ last five games across all competitions, with starts in both Europa League ties.
However, his one and only Premier League start came back on the opening day of the season against Everton.