Dele Alli likes to portray himself as an intriguing figure, as well as having allowed much of his personal life to enter the public domain, it also makes one wonder just how many public relations deals that the 24-year-old has ever declined. The embrace of fame’s trappings is something the boy appears to find quite irresistible.
While fans wait for his form on the pitch to return, Dele has rebranded himself with a tinted hairdo and accompanying moustache and some chin whiskers, and at Tottenham, you used get the room to do that sort of thing. I can think of many other clubs where the coaches might be less forgiving.
Now you may think I’m being petty-minded, but if you were unceremoniously dumped by your international manager, and your team manager repeatedly called you lazy in public, when you were looking in the bathroom mirror, would you be pondering where your prowess had gone, or being contemplating a fresh look?
Under Mourinho, Dele Alli has a gaffer who only has warmth for those that deliver, which is why the Portuguese constantly speaks of trophies, opposed to waffling on about philosophies. Which is why the first out-field names the 56-year-old signed for Tottenham was a bruiser. The second was also physically tough, but crucially, both were captains for their former sides. Leaders on men.
Quite frankly, with all his finger trick celebrations, Dele Alli looks like the type of boy who could be barely be led by a maître d‘, let alone a footballing commando.
The truth will out, but I can see little or no appeal for Alli going from being coached under sufferance by Jose Mourinho, to being screamed at by Zinedine Zidane. Alternatively, perhaps this new offer will be the catalyst that he’s been crying out for, and after too many seasons of fits and starts, Real Madrid will finally make a man out of the lad.