Mourinho delighted to have all-action Alli back in the Tottenham groove
The revival of Dele Alli as Tottenham moved into the last-16 of the Europa League has been warmly welcomed by Jose Mourinho.
England international Alli helped the Lilywhites progress in the competition with a routine 4-0 win over Wolfsberger at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, completing the tie 8-1 on aggregate.
However it was manner of the midfielder’s all-round display, scoring a special overhead kick in the 10th minute as well as setting up two more goals for Carlos Vinicius and Gareth Bale in the second half, that is now exciting his manager.
It is no secret that Mourinho and Alli have had a tense relationship and the outcast player was close to leaving in January – but now the window is back open for the 24-year-old to re-establish himself and extend his levels of performance in north London.
“To have Dele back at this level is amazing,” said Mourinho, following the game against the Austrians, the lowest-ranking team left in the Europa League.
“I don’t need to speak about his goal, because everyone around the world watched it. For me the globality of the performance is what matters. He played very well in every aspect of the game.
“Of course he's not fresh, you can feel that his performance is going to go down, which is normal due to injury and not training for a long time.
“But in this moment when we are going to play every three days, 10 matches in March, to have Dele back at this level is amazing.”
Meanwhile, Mourinho had the added satisfaction of witnessing the impressive performance by Dane Scarlett. The teenage striker came off the bench and had a hand in Vinicius’ second goal.
Scarlett, from the Tottenham academy, is just 16 years old – but Mourinho is already predicting a bright future, with a place in the first team squad next season for starters.
"Dane has incredible talent,” the Portuguese explained. “I just want to say that he will be 17 next month and I want him to be part of the first-team squad next season.
"Next season he has to be a first-team player. Immense talent. Very good physical development.
"He's very good, he's going to be very good. I hope that nothing is going to destroy that potential. He must have feet on the ground and head on his shoulders because he has a fantastic talent.”