Bamidele Alli has unmistakably improved since José Mourinho replaced Mauricio Pochettino at Tottenham.
The England international has been reminded to show his true self under the Portuguese manager, having tweaked his game to play deeper and accommodate the immaculate brilliance of Son Heung-Min the last couple of seasons.
The 24-year-old quite simply suffered in a bid to become a better all-round player.
Indeed, terrible luck with hamstring injuries have hampered his progress in the last 18 months
Mourinho’s simple demand that he go back to doing what he does best has worked wonders. With a cute flick -when on his backside- to set up Son on Mourinho’s debut a sign of things to come.
A consistent run of games in his favoured position behind the striker is paying dividends.
Spells of Intricate passing and incisive dribbling have reminded everyone of the Alli who broke-through at Tottenham in the 2015/16 season.
Alli’s exuberance and natural attacking instinct is coming to the fore.
With 10 shots -more than double his previous five games combined- and six key passes in four games under Mourinho.
The result of that is four goals and one assist in those games.
In the 2-1 loss at Manchester United, Alli was clearly Spurs’ brightest player, netting the equalizer with an outrageous piece of skill.
Plucking a loose ball from the air with a first touch that left Fred for dead, Alli turned expertly and finished past David de Gea. The off-the-cuff moment of brilliance showed the confident mood the young attacker is in getting Spurs an underserved equalizer.
He would go on to create two chances in the game.
At full-time Alli admitted the rest of the team lacked the ‘confidence and arrogance’ required for the occasion; and perhaps so, Spurs’ quality could have prevailed against out-of-form United if Alli’s teammates were in quite the mood he’s in.
Alli is performing with fire in his belly at the moment, geed by the desire to do what he loves which is score and create goals. Mourinho would be looking to channel his new-found hunger into Tottenham’s push for the Champions league places.
He is hoping to do so while proving a point to England manager Gareth Southgate ahead of EURO 2020
Already, he has equaled his league goals tally from last season (five) in 20 less appearances this season.
Welcome to the new Dele Alli, the real one.