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Pochettino concerned as Alli battles recurring injuries

It has been a difficult start to the season for Tottenham, and a worrying one in particular for their seemingly injury-prone midfielder Dele Alli. Despite reaching the dizzy heights of a Champions League final last season, Spurs have not looked overly convincing during the early weeks of 2019/20. Without the former MK Dons’ star in their team, Spurs struggled through the opening three fixtures.

On the first weekend of the season, Mauricio Pochettino’s side were trailing 1-0 to Aston Villa with less than 20 minutes to play, and in the end needed a brace of Harry Kane goals in the 86th and 90th minutes to secure a flattering 3-1 victory at their own new stadium.

One week later they claimed a point at last year’s champions Manchester City who were denied victory in the closing moments when Gabriel Jesus had an effort somewhat controversially ruled out by VAR.

The match ended 2-2 and Spurs headed back to London only to come unstuck at home against Newcastle who collected their first points of the campaign. Brazilian striker Joelinton netted the only goal of the game after 27 minutes, and the hosts were powerless to respond. Premier League betting has reacted to this mediocre start and, following Tottenham’s early-season results, they have drifted further apart from Manchester City and Liverpool, and are currently 33/1 with bet365.

Alli missed all three matches and his manager Pochettino has admitted feeling concerned about his player’s recurring injury troubles in recent months. During the past couple of years, Alli has been struck down by a left hamstring problem four times and even missed eight weeks of first-team football during the early months of 2019.

Once an integral part of Tottenham’s rise up the table in recent seasons, Alli has been less influential of late – probably because of his niggling injury troubles. The one-time golden prospect of English football appears to have slipped down the ratings in recent months among Spurs fans, with Kane, Christian Eriksen, plus defenders Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld, all seemingly enjoying a higher stock at present.

Pochettino, not someone who tends to exaggerate problems, admitted during August: “We are worried. He is still only 23 and has had many hamstring problems in the last few years. He needs to pay attention a little bit about what is going on in his body but we are here to help him.”

Alli’s injury, as well as a need to add depth to the team, were probably two of the reasons which prompted Pochettino to bring in two midfielders during the summer. Tanguy Ndombele arrived from Lyon for £54m, while Giovani Lo Celso joined on loan from Spanish club Real Betis with Tottenham having an obligatory clause to sign him permanently next summer.

Where does this leave Alli? Currently in his fifth full season at Spurs, Alli will quickly need to discover his fitness and secure himself a berth in the team or risk becoming a second choice midfielder at White Hart Lane. This would have seemed unthinkable this time last year but with Pochettino concerned over his recurring health problems, Alli’s Tottenham future appears anything but certain right now.

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