Dele Alli: Ex Tottenham Star Considered Retiring Under Mourinho

Dele Alli: Ex Tottenham Star Considered Retiring Under Mourinho

Elijah Odetokun
updated at July 13, 2023 at 11:19 AM
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  • Dele Alli has opened up on the struggles of his career in the past four years
  • The former England international admitted he considered retirement at 24
  • He is hoping to restart his career at Everton under new boss, Sean Dyche

The turmoil Dele Alli claimed to have gone through in his final days at Tottenham Hotspur nearly pushed the midfielder into early retirement at 24.

Alli was one of English football's brightest stars when he broke onto the scene at Tottenham and was a two-time PFA Young Player of the Year, but things soon went downhill for him.

Dele Alli, Jose Mourinho, Tottenham, Dinamo Zagreb, UEFA Europa League.
Dele Alli reacts after he was substituted during a UEFA Europa League game against Dinamo Zagreb. Photo by Tottenham Hotspur.
Source: Getty Images

It was hard to pinpoint where it went wrong for him, even though teammate Alex Iwobi blamed Alli's training ethic as one of the reasons for his career losing balance.

He left Tottenham and joined Everton in search of rediscovery, but he was moved to Besiktas on a season-long loan. There, he was banished from the squad after Senol Gunes declared him missing.

When Alli almost retired

Jose Mourinho was heavily criticised for some of the player's struggles even though the England international exonerated the Portuguese manager and blamed himself, as reported by Mirror UK.

The 27-year-old remembered a particular moment when he began to feel out of love with football, and it was under Mourinho.

"It's hard to pinpoint one exact moment, but probably the saddest moment for me was when Mourinho was the manager," he said on Gary Neville's Overlap Podcast. "I was 24; I remember there was one session. One morning I woke up, and I had to go to training, this was when he stopped playing me.
"I was in a bad place, I remembered looking in the mirror. It sounds dramatic, but I was staring in the mirror, and I asked if I could retire now, at 24, doing the thing I love.
"For me, it was heartbreaking to have had that thought at 24 to want to retire. That hurt me a lot," he added.

He also admitted to spending the last six weeks in rehab over sleeping pills addiction. He is gradually nearing a good mental state, and Everton boss Sean Dyche has backed him to try again.

Pochettino wants to help Alli

Sports Brief reported that Pochettino left Chelsea fans on edge after his public support for his embattled former player sounded like he wanted him at Stamford Bridge.

The Argentine manager coached the former MK Dons star to the limelight. He expressed concern about his current situation and said he would reach out to try and help.

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Elijah Odetokun
Elijah Odetokun is Reuters-trained journalist with three years of experience having previously worked at Daily Times Nigeria, OmaSports and El Futbolero.
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