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Tottenham Hotspur's Dele Alli on New Season: 'I Want to Perform in Every Game'

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistAugust 2, 2019

MUNICH, GERMANY - JULY 31: Dele Alli of Tottenham Hotspur passes the ball during the Audi cup 2019 final match between Tottenham Hotspur and Bayern Muenchen at Allianz Arena on July 31, 2019 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by PressFocus/MB Media/Getty Images)
PressFocus/MB Media/Getty Images

Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Dele Alli is hoping for an improved performance over the course of the new season after a disappointing 2018-19 campaign. 

Alli was not his usual productive self in front of goal, and that's one area he's aiming to improve.

Per Goal, the 23-year-old said:

"I'm not one for setting targets for goals and assists, but I want to bring them back into my game. So of course, I've set myself a little target.

"I want to perform in every game, not just the big games. I feel good. I haven't had any problems during pre-season. I'm feeling strong, I'm feeling fit. So, yes, I'm excited."

He's also hoping that Spurs can get better as a collective, too:

"Last year the Champions League was a big achievement for us. We were disappointed we didn't go all the way and win it but we are going to have to channel that hurt we felt in that game and keep improving.

"We are not the finished article. We know that. We've got things to improve on."

Alli notably performed well in several important games last season. He grabbed a goal and an assist apiece in matches with Chelsea and Arsenal, while he set up two goals in Spurs' 3-2 UEFA Champions League semi-final second leg victory against Ajax.

However, over the course of the season those high-profile performances were few and far between.

In the Champions League final, Alli was substituted after 81 minutes with Spurs chasing a goal.

Football.London's James Benge observed his decline:

James Benge @jamesbenge

I don't get to see as much Spurs as I'd like so can't help but ask what happened to Dele Alli? Was supposed to be the star for England, can't see an argument for him being in the XI in the Nations.

He finished the campaign with seven goals and eight assists in all competitions, down from 14 and 17, respectively, the year before.

Football writer Grace Robertson thought criticism of him was unfair, though:

Grace Robertson🧜‍♀️⚧♀️ @GraceOnFootball

Ridiculous how low Dele Alli's stock is currently. A better player now than when he scored a lot of goals two years ago.

One factor behind his lower return of goal contributions is that he hasn't been deployed as high up the pitch as he used to.

With Tanguy Ndombele's recruitment this summer, Spurs will have more options in central midfield.

That could see Alli moved further forward, where he'll have more scope to use his chemistry with Harry Kane to create chances for the striker and go for goal himself.

The England international is still young, and he'll be eager to show last season's dip was a one-off. 

If he can get back to his best, Spurs will have an enormous asset on their hands once again.