Dele Alli appears to have taken a swipe at Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho after speaking in glowing terms about former Spurs chief Mauricio Pochettino.
Dele, 24, has been virtually redundant this term, having made only five Premier League appearances. The former MK Dons ace has seen action in the Europa League and both domestic cup competitions.
But it is a poor return after enjoying 236 outings for the north Londoners since his 2015 debut. He was linked with a move to Paris Saint-Germain in the January transfer window.
That would have meant a reunion with Pochettino, who replaced Thomas Tuchel at the Parc des Princes. However, he stayed at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and remains on the peripheries.
Earlier this month, Mourinho appeared to offer him an olive branch. The pair sat down to thrash out some issues, with the Portuguese tactician admitting Spurs “need him”.
But he is still seeing no action and kicking his heels on the sidelines. It remains to be seen how the impasse plays out but Dele’s latest words are unlikely to endear him to his current boss.
“I was very lucky to have a manager like Pochettino – he was an unbelievable guy and very experienced,” he told The Sun. “He would pull me in if I was doing dumb stuff and speak with me. Not like a dad – but that sort of vibe.”
Dele has played 37 times for England since his 2015 debut, scoring three goals. He featured in the 2018 World Cup, playing the full 120 minutes of the 2-1 semi-final loss to Croatia.
The war of words looks set to continue until the summer when action will need to be taken one way or the other.