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Sir Alex Ferguson hints at Dele Alli U-turn after talks with Jose Mourinho

Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted he “doesn’t know what has happened” to Dele Alli, with the Tottenham midfielder enduring a season of struggles.

The legendary Manchester United boss was a huge admirer of the England international in his younger days, but has been left puzzled by his lack of form.

After a falling out with Jose Mourinho, Alli became a man on the peripheries in north London and has made just six Premier League starts all season.

Since Mourinho’s departure, interim boss Ryan Mason has handed him more minutes, but his future remains somewhat up in the air.

Perhaps ironically, right at the start of Mourinho’s reign at Spurs, he revealed that Ferguson’s only piece of advice during his time at United was to sign Alli.

Dele Alli fell out of favour under Jose Mourinho at Spurs

In a conversation with Daniel Levy, screened on Amazon’s All or Nothing, he said: “Sir Alex Ferguson gave me only one bit of advice in two and a half years: Buy Dele Alli. ‘That guy, with that mentality, the way he plays, the aggression he has in mind.

“This guy is the Manchester United player. Buy Dele Alli’.

“And [Ferguson] has an eye for a player. But [Alli] is not a good trainer, we need to find motivation for the guy.”

But in the midst of his dramatic fall from grace, Ferguson has been forced to accept he is no longer at the standard he once thought he could reach.

Fergie admits he has been left puzzled by Alli's dramatic loss of form
Fergie admits he has been left puzzled by Alli’s dramatic loss of form

“ I thought Dele Alli was going to be a top player, I must admit,” Fergie told SPORTbible. “I don’t know what’s happened there.”

Meanwhile, Micah Richards believes that Alli can still return to his previous heights and told whoever Spurs name as their new boss, to nurture his obvious talent.

“He needs to be nurtured,” said Richards ahead of the game on Sky Sports. “You don’t become a bad player overnight.

“What did he score, 16 or 17 goals in one of his earlier seasons? He’s got absolutely everything.

Mourinho claimed Ferguson advised him to sign Dele Alli, during his time as Man Utd boss

“As a young player, sometimes you lose your focus, sometimes you get a little bit ahead of yourselves and sometimes a manager doesn’t fancy you.

“I have no doubt there’s quality in there, but they need to get him on the pitch first and once he’s on the pitch, he can show what he can do.

“I don’t buy into the fact that he’s not good enough anymore, that’s absolute nonsense. When he first came on the scene, everyone was like, ‘wow’.”

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