Alli has looked a man reborn since Nuno took the helm at Spurs as the midfielder bids to string together a run of his best form following a difficult spell which saw him lose his England place
While much of the talk at Tottenham has focused on Harry Kane’s future in recent weeks, Dele Alli has been quietly enjoying something of a renaissance.
The midfielder has already played a key role in Spurs’ two wins and impressed to such an extent that his form hasn’t gone unnoticed by England boss Gareth Southgate.
Alli had slipped from Three Lions contention over the past couple of years, having fallen heavily out of favour under Jose Mourinho in north London.
But what is clear already is that he has a big part to play for his club under Mourinho’s replacement, Nuno Espirito Santo.
“He had a fantastic match against Wolves,” said Nuno. “His work-rate was fantastic.
“Dele is a very talented player but what he is doing is the way he should do it and improve.
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“He needs to keep on being consistent, work hard and help the team, keep doing what he is doing every day. He comes to the building, his attitude…
“The talent is there and it is up to us to find the best solutions, creating relationships, but he is doing well.”
Asked what his advice had been to Alli, Nuno added: “My message to all the players has been exactly the same. It is a unique message: the best of each one of us, for the team. What happened in the past, it’s the past.”
Alli is not alone at Spurs in having dropped out of favour with England. Eric Dier and Harry Winks were also left out when Southgate selected his squad for Euro 2020.
Nuno said: “All the players with us are talented and have quality enough to join their national teams.
“The decision of each and every one of the national team coaches is their own.
“My job is to prepare them for Tottenham. If they play well here, of course, things will happen naturally.
“But I honestly believe the World Cup next year is not their individual ambition. What I see in them is the will to help the team to play here, to work hard. And if a player commits himself to the club, playing for the national team is a consequence.” After a tumultuous summer that saw star player Kane try everything to join Manchester City and Spurs go through countless attempts to land a manager before handing Nuno the reins, the fact they have started with back-to-back wins has been impressive.
However, even though they will try to make to make it a perfect start with three wins from three going into the international break, Nuno knows his side is far from perfect. He said: “There’s still lots to improve, they’re not perfect. No one is perfect. We are very far from being perfect.”
Even so, Nuno has still been impressed with what he has seen from his players since they reported back for pre-season and some have shown him they are even better than he thought they might be.
Nuno added: “When we have the chance to work closely with the players is when we truly know them, and I’ve been given this chance, not only with Sonny [Heung-min Son].
“But with him it hasn’t been a surprise, just the realisation that he’s a very talented player, a very good player.”