By Noel Whelan

17th Dec, 2021 | 6:45am

Pundit makes 'huge' Newcastle claim after journalist's Dele Alli update

Signing Tottenham outcast Dele Alli in January would be a “huge risk” for Newcastle, according to Noel Whelan.

The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted the 25-year-old hasn’t shown any “fight or real quality” in the last two and a half years.

According to The Athletic‘s David Ornstein (13 December), Tottenham are willing to let Alli leave during the January window as he does not feature in manager Antonio Conte’s plans.

The report claims Spurs want to sell the player, but accept he is unlikely to fetch a high transfer fee – making a temporary switch most likely.

Whelan suggested he is unconvinced that Alli has the hunger to make the difference in Newcastle’s relegation fight.

When asked about Alli moving on in January, he told Football Insider‘s Ewan Kingsbury: “I’m not being funny, but have you seen much fight in his performances recently?

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“I’m really not sure you want to be pinning your survival hopes on him getting you out the mire. Right now, I think you’d certainly look somewhere else before bringing Dele Alli in if you’re in a relegation dogfight.

“He’s a huge risk, if you’re looking to him to get you out of trouble. We haven’t seen any fight or real quality in his performances for two, two and a half years now.

“It’s just a question of whether Newcastle will want to take a punt on him – I certainly wouldn’t. He’s shown no passion, no hunger, no energy – nothing.”

37-time England international Alli is under contract at Spurs until 2024.

Newcastle sit second from bottom in the Premier League with 10 points from 16 games.

The Magpies are three points from safety.

In other news, Newcastle open talks to sign another England international.