Antonio Conte suggests Dele Alli will go ‘down, not up’ after leaving Tottenham

‘I don’t remember a player that had revenge with me,’ Conte said ahead of Everton’s visit to Spurs on Monday night

Sports Staff
Monday 07 March 2022 10:47
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<p>Dele Alli applauds the Everton supporters</p>

Dele Alli applauds the Everton supporters

Antonio Conte says players who leave his coaching behind usually go "down, not up," as he discussed Dele Alli's switch from Tottenham to Everton.

After finding himself on the fringes of Conte's plans, Alli left Spurs in January on a permanent transfer to Goodison Park, where he has struggled to make an impression so far under Frank Lampard.

The 25-year-old midfielder returns to north London to face Conte's Tottenham side for the first time on Monday night, and Conte believes it was the right decision to find pastures new.

"It was a good decision for the player and for the club,’ Conte said of Alli's mid-season move. "I can tell you that in the period we worked together I tried to get the best out of him. He was always available in training but in the end it was a good decision for him and he deserves big respect for what he did for this club. He’s young and has all the time to take his career in his own hands."

Asked about whether Alli might be motivated to show Conte what he's missing, the Spurs manager added: "Honestly, I don’t remember a player that had revenge with me. When some players went away, usually they went down, not up — usually."

Lampard has defended Alli, who has made four appearances from the bench but is yet to start a game for the Toffees.

"When he has come off the bench he has contributed well in games and helped the team," said Lampard. "He was particularly good against Man City and showed a discipline in his performance which was required in the game.

"So it’s probably about his condition, learning a bit about myself and how my staff work and then fitting into the team. I don’t think we have to panic, to rush. When we signed Dele, I certainly saw it as a long-term plan because I really have that massive belief in him as a player.

"He has to be patient and wait for his time at the start."

Everton are currently 17th in the table, only one point clear of the bottom three. Spurs meanwhile are seventh, six points back from fourth-place Arsenal having played the same number of games.

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