Dele Alli sent a stirring message to Tottenham Hotspur fans ahead of the north London club’s clash with Leeds United this weekend.
The midfielder, who has struggled to find his best form this season, is looking to revive his career under new manager Antonio Conte.
And Alli, 25, will be hoping to earn his first minutes under the Italian, having been an unused substitute in his first two games, with Conte naming the same starting XI on both occasions.
With Oliver Skipp absent against Leeds through suspension after amassing five yellow cards, Alli’s chance to star under Conte could arrive on Sunday.
Prior to the match, and attached to a photo of him in training, Alli said on Instagram: “Prepared and ready for the weekend.”
Former Spurs defender Kyle Walker replied underneath, saying: “My Brother”, while the official Spurs account commented with an emoji of a crown.
Whether Alli is handed his first opportunity under Conte remains to be seen, but, when asked about how he will replace Skipp in central midfield, the Spurs manager’s pre-match comments perhaps suggested that might not be the case.
“Then there is one between Winky [Harry Winks] and Tanguy Ndombele. (Laughs) Not many choices but we have to go,” he said in the pre-match press conference.
No mention for Alli does not bode well for the midfielder, who struggled for consistent under minutes under Nuno Espirito Santo, especially after the North London Derby defeat to Arsenal in late September in which he was substituted after 45 minutes.
Former Spurs boss Tim Sherwood, however, believes Alli is the type of midfielder the team needs to take them forward.
“They need a midfield player who’s going to break into the box and occupy defenders as well and I think that man is Dele Alli,” he said ahead of the Leeds contest.
“Perhaps this week, he’s been at home, he’s been there, he’s been working with Dele. Surely Dele has rolled his sleeves up and showed the quality that Antonio [Conte] will be looking for.”
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Out of the England set-up, Alli will have had the international break to impress Conte, and the midfielder, who faces competition from Tanguy Ndombele and Giovani Lo Celso for a starting role, seems eager to earn his place.
One of Tottenham’s weaknesses this season has been their creativity, especially regarding service for Harry Kane.
Alli will be hoping he can provide the attacking spark that has been missing.