'Alli has the talent to do anything he wants' - Mourinho talks up Tottenham star's potential


Dele Alli "has the talent to do anything he wants", according to Jose Mourinho, who has been impressed with the Tottenham star since succeeding Mauricio Pochettino in the managerial hot seat.

Mourinho returned to the Premier League following an 11-month period away from coaching on November 21, having been sacked by Manchester United last December.

The Portuguese inherited a confidence-stricken Tottenham squad which had slipped to 14th in the Premier League after 12 fixtures, just six months on from a maiden Champions League final appearance.

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Spurs' poor start to the 2019-20 campaign cost Pochettino his job, but Mourinho has already begun to turn the club's fortunes around after just three matches in charge.

Back-to-back 3-2 victories over West Ham and Bournemouth have seen Tottenham rise to fifth in the top flight, with a thrilling 4-2 Champions League win over Olympiacos wedged in between.

A number of players have rediscovered their best form over the last fortnight, including 23-year-old Alli, who scored twice against Bournemouth on Saturday.

Ahead of a huge showdown against United at Old Trafford on Wednesday, Mourinho has talked up Alli's unique talent, insisting he can reach the very top if he keeps his motivational levels high.

"He can do anything he wants," Mourinho told a press conference. "I think he has the talent, he is the right age and has the right experience. He already has experience at the highest level, playing the Champions League, playing for the national team in the biggest competitions, lots of talent, young.

"He has everything. It is just a question about motivation every day. This is not an individual thing, this is about everybody."

Dele Alli Tottenham 2019-20
Dele Alli Tottenham 2019-20

If Mourinho can mastermind a win against his former club, Spurs could close the six-point gap between themselves and fourth-place Chelsea, with a home clash against Burnley set to follow on Saturday.

Tottenham have looked vulnerable defensively at the start of the Portuguese tactician's reign, but he felt his side pressed well during their last outing at home to Bournemouth, before a brilliant Harry Wilson free kick hauled the home side back into the game.

"In the last game, we were very fine and when they scored the first goal in a direct free kick I think we were in complete control," he said. 

"I think we had zero problems in the second half of the game. We were very tight, we were pressing very well, we were in control. So when that goal came in our best moment, and Bournemouth’s worst moment, from a set-piece, there is nothing you can do when the kid has that talent."

One man who has yet to feature under Mourinho is Juan Foyth, with Davinson Sanchez, Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld all currently ahead of him in the pecking order.

The Tottenham boss claims the Argentine will be among those to be considered for playing time as the festive period heats up, as he added: "There are other players that I like very, very much and I try to give some stability to the team and there is no space for everyone, so we look to other boys.

"Ryan Sessegnon, Lo Celso, Walker-Peters, we have other players with the potential to play that they didn’t have yet the opportunity to play.

"I would say let’s wait for the end of December for the accumulation of matches and for sure opportunities will come."

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