Jose Mourinho says Spurs need Dele Alli back to form and full-fitness

Portuguese says he has 'found very common ground' during conversation with England international who has barely featuring this season

ENFIELD, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 18: Dele Alli of Tottenham Hotspur during the Tottenham Hotspur training session at Tottenham Hotspur Training Centre on December 18, 2020 in Enfield, England. (Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images)
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Jose Mourinho says Tottenham Hotspur need Dele Alli back to form and full-fitness despite the England international barely featuring this season.

The 24-year-old has been a shadow of the player who impressed at the 2018 World Cup and when Spurs reached the Champions League final in 2019.

He has rarely sparkled since Mourinho took over in November 2019 after Mauricio Pochettino was sacked and has been linked with a move to Paris Saint-Germain where the Argentine is now in charge.

Alli has made just five starts all season, none of which have come in the league since he was substituted at half-time during the defeat against Everton on the opening weekend of the season.

Mourinho's desire for a revived Alli is all the more urgent as Spurs form has faltered alarmingly.

Having topped the table at the beginning of December, they have won just two of their past nine league games and are six points adrift of the four Champions League spots.

Tottenham host Chelsea on Thursday with their opponents seemingly having received a boost from the arrival of Thomas Tuchel as manager replacing the sacked Frank Lampard.

"First, he needs to recover from his injury and needs to be back to training and have a fresh start because in the last few weeks he couldn't even train," Mourinho said of Alli.

"I had a good conversation with him yesterday. I think we found very common ground let's say. It's an important point of the season for the team and for him also. We need a good Dele Alli and we are waiting for him to be back to normality."

Alli has barely featured this season with Tanguy Ndombele nailing down the attacking midfielder role, leading to suggestions that Alli might have left in the transfer window.

But Mourinho believes Alli is motivated to force his way back into the starting line-up.

"We need him back. A conversation doesn't make a miracle or put him in great form but I believe the conversation was the extra motivation that he needs to get back as soon as possible."

"We miss some creation or some magic around the attacking areas so we need him back and I made that very cleat to him. Of course a conversation doesn't make miracles.

"It doesn't put a player in great form without limitations in terms of fitness, but I believe the conversation was the extra motivation he needed to be back as soon as possible.

"I believe that when physically he is ready I believe that mentally he will be in a good place to go for it."

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Gallery: Kane picks up injury in Liverpool defeat

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Mourinho will face his old club Chelsea without his most potent weapon in striker Harry Kane.

The England captain has scored or assisted 23 of Tottenham's 34 Premier League goals this season.

However, Mourinho says the striker is making progress and could be back sooner than expected, which is good news for the team as they have a packed schedule.

Tottenham are still involved in the Europa League, FA Cup and tantalisingly are within one win of their first silverware since 2008 when they play Manchester City in the League Cup final at the end of April.

And Kane could be available for next Wednesday's FA Cup clash with Everton "We were scared when it happened but now we are a bit more positive," Mourinho said of the injury Kane sustained in the league defeat by Liverpool.

"It is not an overly optimistic thing to say that next week he should be playing. He's happy with the progress and of course we are happy too. Maybe Everton or Manchester City, one of these matches he will be back."