Alex McLeish has suggested there has been “a lot of talking” between Jose Mourinho and Dele Alli over the midfielder’s form at Tottenham.
The former Premier League manager, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, has admitted it would be “horrible to see” the 24-year-old lose his status as a future superstar for both club and country.
Dele has started just twice in five appearances for Spurs this season, while he has featured in only two of the club’s opening six Premier League games.
He has also not been included in Gareth Southgate’s England squad since last summer.
McLeish has suggested that Mourinho has told the attacking midfielder he needs to get his head down and focus on regaining his form after a disappointing 12 months.
Asked if the midfielder would be happy with his current situation, McLeish told Football Insider: “Certainly not. It’s got to be some sort of, I wouldn’t call it a rift, but I think there’s been a lot of talking done between the two.
“Mourinho may have said: ‘Look, let’s keep things quiet a wee bit and get you back to your form.’ You know, young boys, sometimes it goes really great for you as a youngster but then you lose form and you just don’t know how to get it back.
“When I saw Dele Alli a couple of years ago at Wembley, he scored a magnificent goal from 25 yards, I think it might have been France in a friendly and I thought this guy is destined for global fame.
“He just seems to have lost that wee knack that he had for getting in the box, running off the ball, he’s got good ball skills. Can he get it back? Maybe Jose is grooming him to get it back.
“It would certainly be horrible to see Dele Alli losing his status as a Spurs player. I think there’s more to come from Dele Alli, I really do.”