Home » Ben Davies claims Tottenham had a player who was like Jude Bellingham but they let him go

Ben Davies claims Tottenham had a player who was like Jude Bellingham but they let him go

By Mehdi Gokal -

Former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Dele Alli, once hailed as one of the brightest talents in English football, has seen a significant decline in recent years following a series of setbacks both on and off the pitch.

The Englishman earned recognition by being named PFA Young Player of the Year and securing a spot in the PFA Premier League Team of the Year for two consecutive seasons: 2015-16 and 2016-17.

Achieving such a feat in his debut campaign was no small accomplishment, but Dele Alli’s talent knows no bounds; he continued to perform at the same high level in the Premier League, reminiscent of his performances for Milton Keynes Dons in League One, the third tier of English football.

Recently, the midfielder’s former Spurs teammate Ben Davies showered him with praise during an interview on the Gab & Juls show on the ESPN UK YouTube channel.

What did Ben Davies say about Dele Alli?

Davies drew parallels between Alli’s impact and the current form of Jude Bellingham, who has arguably been the best player in the world since his high-profile transfer to Real Madrid last summer.

The Welshman emphasized Alli’s remarkable talent and confidence from a young age, reflecting on the attacking midfielder’s early days at Milton Keynes and recalling how he brought a playful yet fearless attitude to first-team training.

Davies recounted Alli’s standout performance against Real Madrid in the pre-season match, which the left-back described as the “Dele Show.”

He mentioned that Alli didn’t perceive any difference in the level of opposition and played with the same confidence against the likes of Luka Modric and Toni Kroos as he had been displaying in League One.

He said:

“Dele was incredible when he turned up. He was a young kid from Milton Keynes, and he got thrown into first team training, and he would just do stuff. It was like playing for fun. And I think to start with, the management, the staff probably were like, ‘What’s this kid doing? Play properly, get the ball, play here.’ Like he was playing because what was he doing? He would just, like, ball comes to feet, step over it, tries to go through other people’s legs. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t, trying to flick the ball.

“But then we went pre-season again, went played against Real Madrid, and it was ‘The Dele Show’ from there. This was a kid for whom, there was no difference in level of opposition. That’s probably the best way I can describe it. What he did in League One, he would try and do against Modric, against Kroos, these guys. It was irrelevant who he was playing against. He had the self-confidence, I think he’s spoken about it, which is like the bravery.

“And when he – that season when he just was breaking through, scoring goals for fun, pal, when he – the ball and who even drives that, that’s the reality and that’s what he was doing. It was insane.

“There was no limit for him. He could have at that time been similar to, like, a Bellingham kind of player now. Someone who maybe not technically as good as Jude is, but ultimately the game comes down to scoring goals. Used to find a way to score an assist pretty much every game. And he used to just cause nightmares for opposition.”

Dele Alli celebrating after scoring at Stamford Bridge

Dele Alli’s sad decline

The once rising star in English football has experienced a notable decline in recent years.

His career trajectory took a downturn after the departure of manager Mauricio Pochettino from Tottenham Hotspur in 2019.

The managerial change disrupted his form, and subsequent injuries further hampered his progress.

He was let go by Tottenham after the club did not renew his contract and joined Everton where he failed to regain his form. He then had a failed stint at Turkish club Beskitas.

He recently revealed some harrowing stuff about his childhood struggles, which had resulted in mental health issues and addiction, further adding to his challenges.

Alli is still under contract at Everton but out for the season with an injury.

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