Tottenham Hotspur

Hugo Lloris admits Dele Alli 'had to leave' Tottenham

Tom Gott
Dele joined Everton in January
Dele joined Everton in January / James Williamson - AMA/GettyImages

Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris has confessed that Dele Alli needed to leave the club to get his career back on track.

Now 25, Dele left Spurs for Everton in January on a free transfer which is expected to rise to close to £40m in add-ons, having spent the best part of the last two years on the fringes under Jose Mourinho, Nuno Espirito Santo and Antonio Conte.

The PFA Young Player of the Year in 2016 and 2017, Dele is now looking to reignite his career at Goodison Park and Lloris told The Times that he will be cheering on his friend every week.

“I really like Dele,” Lloris said. “We had some great times at Spurs but also it’s important that players find new challenges. Sometimes the new challenge is not at the same place. Dele has to go to another place but the most important thing is I want to see Dele with a smile.

"I wanted Dele to enjoy football and I know it was a bit complicated the last two years for him, a lot of inconsistency in terms of games played, but that’s part of the career. It’s never easier for anyone, even the best players in the world have some up and downs.”

Dele left Spurs with a total of 269 appearances under his belt, racking up 67 goals and 61 assists in all competitions.

Still a regular scorer in the 2019/20 season, Dele failed to push on under Mourinho the following year, with the pair often clashing behind the scenes. He made just seven Premier League starts that year and was a constant feature in the transfer rumour mill up until his switch to Everton.