By London correspondent Tony Hughes
Dele Alli is being nursed through Tottenham’s gruelling fixture schedule – because he is carrying two injuries.
The England international has been one of the key players in Spurs’ title challenge in his first season in the Premier League.
But manager Mauricio Pochettino has admitted that the 19-year-old is being increasingly affected by his heavy workload, which has put stress on his ankle and his knee.
Alli started on the bench at West Ham last Wednesday but he has started 22 of Spurs’ 29 Premier League matches this season, and has made 39 appearances for the club in all competitions, a record bettered only by Eric Dier (41) and Harry Kane (40).
Speaking in the wake of Spurs 2-2 draw against Arsenal on Saturday, Pochettino admitted the playmaker is not 100 per cent at the moment.
“He is an incredible athlete, yes, but he is not a machine,” said Pochettino. “He has a problem in his ankle and knee. He was good before the game but the players are not machines.”
Asked if he might have to rest Alli during the title run-in, Pochettino added: “It depends. We assess the players every day and we take the best decision from the team.
“We try to look after all of them. We played a lot of games and we come from a difficult season, because we’ve played a lot.
“I think that we have good staff, good sports science and medical, who can look after the players in a good way.
“We have a lot of players who are young and in their first or second season in the Premier League.
“It’s very tough and we spend a lot of time analysing and to find information to give the best training sessions or recovery, or to find the best way to help them.”
In other Tottenham news, Hugh Lloris has spoken of how he was “embarrassed” by Olivier Giroud linking him to a move to Arsenal.