Jose Mourinho confirmed Dele Alli is back in plans at Tottenham and could feature against Aston Villa as he hailed the midfielder’s ‘professionalism and attitude’ in their FA Cup victory over Marine.
The 24-year-old starred in Spurs’ 5-0 thrashing of the non-league side, setting up Carlos Vincius’ opener and being involved in much of the action, after being handed a rare start by Mourinho.
The midfielder has struggled to even make the bench in several of Tottenham’s Premier League games but has been given a lifeline to kickstart his season.
The England international has been linked with an exit this month but appears to have forced his way back into fold at Spurs and could return to top-flight action against Aston Villa on Wednesday.
‘He was here today and of course it was not the match to measure the quality’, Mourinho said when asked if Alli would play in the clash.
‘But the professionalism and attitude and I am very happy with it.
‘I will not be surprised if next Wednesday Dele is playing with us.’
The heavy victory ensured there was no giant-killing in the FA Cup third round tie in Crosby, with opponents Marine 161 places behind them in the football pyramid.
‘I am really happy with his attitude in the game. Of course we didn’t want to risk much, the pitch is a bit dangerous and their enthusiasm can put the creative ones in some risk.’, Mourinho added.
‘But I am happy – good professionalism, good dynamic from him and Gedson (Fernandes) to start trying to create, so really pleased for the performance.’
He was left red-faced, however, after tripping over comically in front of the dugout and sparking hysterics among his team-mates.
There has been a cloud of doubt over Tottenham’s clash with Villa, with the Midland outfit hit with a significant Covid outbreak which forced their whole first team and coaches into isolation after 10 players tested positive for the virus.
They were forced to field a side entirely of academy players in a 4-1 defeat by Liverpool on Friday, and there is doubt whether the Spurs game will go ahead at all.
But asked whether he thinks the Villa game will go ahead, Mourinho replied: ‘Yeah. Nobody told me that I’m not going to play so (on Monday morning) we start to prepare for that game, and the same Tuesday unless somebody tells us different.’