Former Arsenal striker Charlie Nicholas has slammed Tottenham star Dele Alli for his sub-par performances this season when debating who should win the player of the year award.
Alli, 21, has been a mainstay of Mauricio Pochettino’s team this campaign, but his form has been nowhere near as good as last term and at times Spurs fans have been calling on the England international to be axed from the starting line-up.
The former MK Dons midfielder has made 39 appearances in all competitions this term, scoring nine goals and supplying 15 assists.
But Sky Sports pundit Nicholas is not impressed by the 21-year-old and has praised Harry Kane for carrying the team on his shoulders at times this campaign.
When discussing his top three contenders for the player of the year away, Nicholas said on the Sky Sports website: “I’d actually have [Kevin] De Bruyne, [Mohamed] Salah and Kane as my one, two, three. It has to be De Bruyne because of the way he has carried City’s form through when others weren’t so impressive.
“Salah has been fabulous but so have Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane and he could have had 40 goals with the chances he’s had, whereas Kane has carried this Spurs side at times with Dele Alli being relatively average.”
The Independent has reported that Alli earns £50,000-a-week at Tottenham and that the club are confident he will agree terms to double his wages to £100,000-a-week soon.
Football Insider verdict
Nicholas loves a good Spurs putdown, but he is not far off with Alli. The England international has been disappointing this term and if he was playing as well as he did in 2016/17, then maybe Spurs would be higher up the table and mounting a serious challenge for the Premier League title once again. Alli’s performances in Europe have been a lot better than they have in the league at times. It will be a true test of his ability on Wednesday night with a massive clash against Juventus at Wembley in the Champions League. A 0-0 or 1-1 draw will be enough to see Spurs qualify, but Pochettino will no doubt want a win.