Harry Kane *and* Dele Alli under Pochettino at Chelsea? A Spurs sadist’s wet dream
Mauricio Pochettino may well be the only man who can save Dele Alli, who would suit Chelsea blue, dontcha think, Spurs fans? Someone’s got to assist Harry Kane.
‘You still got it, Dele?’ ‘I’ve still got it boss, aye it’s in me pocket.’ ‘Well take it out ya pocket and put it on the pitch!’
Fans of seminal early noughties film ‘Mike Bassett: England manager’ will remember the conversation between Bassett, newly appointed to the England role, and Tonka, the mercurial screw-up, capable of wizardry on the pitch, impeded by his antics off it.
We’re not suggesting Pochettino will be required to literally bail Dele out of jail, as Bassett does for Tonka, but metaphorically the former Tottenham star is very much behind bars, and his former boss could provide the get out of jail free card.
In a bid to revive his career, Dele moved to Everton. That didn’t work so he went to Turkey, before his relationship with manager Senol Gunes ‘hit rock bottom’ and he returned to Merseyside, via a hotel room with used laughing gas canisters.
Asked about Dele’s future at Everton, where he still has a year left on his contract, Sean Dyche said: “He’s 27 and like other players knows certain things and what they should or shouldn’t be doing.”
That won’t have sounded hugely promising to Dele, and reports suggest Everton will terminate his contract at the end of the campaign. At which point, what? Into the wilderness presumably, to join the rat race with all us other rats. Unless…Daddy gives him one last chance.
“Poch was brilliant with him,” Kieran Trippier said, when asked about Dele’s fall from grace on the Under The Cosh podcast in December, explaining the nurturing role Pochettino assumed to get the best of him. And Dele’s social media message on Pochettino’s departure points to a strong bond between the two.
‘I can’t thank this man enough. He’s taught me so much and I’m so grateful for everything he’s done for me.’
Jose Mourinho, who replaced Pochettino at Spurs, at first tried the firm but fair approach, as seen in ‘All or Nothing: Tottenham Hotspur’, before calling Dele a “f***ing lazy guy”. He has made 52 appearances under six different managers at Spurs, Everton and Besiktas since, with five goals and four assists.
Dele’s only successful period in top-flight football came under Pochettino, and it was hugely successful.
Dele claimed 55 goals and 52 assists under Pochettino at Spurs, in a spell which makes up nearly three-quarters of his career after he made the move from MK Dons in 2015. At his peak, in the summer of 2018, just over a year before Poch left Spurs, Dele’s market value was £100m. It’s now less than £10m. That’s an extraordinary drop in less than five years for a player who at 27 should only now be reaching his peak.
Chelsea fans who weren’t among those to click on this article to simply check who wrote it in order to curse this moron, will still need convincing. The club needs to trim their huge squad and bring in two, maybe three, new players: a number six, a striker and a goalkeeper. Dele isn’t any of those.
He won’t cost anything, and Chelsea could pay him peanuts in the last chance saloon, but none of that will sway Chelsea fans anywhere near as much as the potential for the pure, unadulterated, sadistic joy at seeing Chelsea midfielder Dele Alli assist Chelsea striker Harry Kane as Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino celebrates on the Tottenham touchline.
Dele has six goals and two assists in 12 appearances against Chelsea, while Kane – who’s inevitably started to be linked with a move to Stamford Bridge – has eight goals and two assists in 22 games. It would be so sweet, and the likelihood of them refusing to celebrate against the club where they made their names, would somehow increase the satisfaction.
Pochettino may be the only man who can save Dele Alli’s career. Chelsea are very unlikely to offer him the chance, and even if they do, a return to form would be one of the most remarkable comeback stories in football. But it’s not impossible, and any amount of stick would be worth it when the carrot is as big and juicy as Dele to Kane for Pochettino at Chelsea.
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