Darren Bent has claimed Dele Alli should be starting as part of Jose Mourinho’s best midfield trio at Tottenham this season.
The former Spurs and England striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, has suggested the 24-year-old, who has been reduced to a fringe figure in north London this season, deserves to be lining up alongside Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Tanguy Ndombele in the middle of the park.
As quoted by the Evening Standard, Mourinho stated that the France international has “huge” potential and that he is happy with how the 23-year-old is performing right now.
The Portuguese boss, speaking after the 1-0 Europa League defeat to Antwerp, admitted that his side “missed” Ndombele from their starting XI.
Bent has lauded the former Lyon man for his turnaround at Spurs but claimed that Dele, who has fallen firmly out of favour, should be playing alongside him every week.
Bent told Football Insider: “He is missed in that starting XI and it’s testament to himself – he’s worked hard, he’s got himself to that level and he’s playing well.
“In an ideal world, right, Tottenham’s midfield three should be Hojbjerg holding, Ndombele and Dele Alli but for whatever reason…
“I like Hojbjerg, he’s come in and done better than I expected, so he’s done alright. Ndombele is starting to show flashes of what he’s capable of but again, it’s who do you play as that other one?
“From Ndombele’s point of view, he got really criticised, was linked to going to Barcelona and here, there and everywhere, stuck at it, worked hard, those lockdown runs, when he shouldn’t have been doing it with Mourinho, are paying off, so it looks like he’s getting back to his best.”
Dele has managed to start just three times in six games for Spurs this season and has been left out of five of the last six Premier League matchday squads.
Summer signing Hojbjerg has featured the most out of all of Tottenham’s midfielders this term with 13 appearances under his belt.