Dele Alli vows to return fitter and stronger after his ‘most difficult’ season

Tottenham Hotspur v Aston Villa – Premier League – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
(Image credit: Daniel Leal-Olivas)

Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli is determined to come back stronger after enduring the “most difficult” season of his career.

The 25-year-old spent much of the campaign frozen out by Jose Mourinho before coming back into the fold under temporary boss Ryan Mason.

Alli, who played just 15 times in the Premier League, was keen to leave the club in January, with a reunion with Mauricio Pochettino at Paris St Germain on the cards, but Spurs blocked it.

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With a call for England’s European Championship squad highly unlikely, Alli is committed to using his summer off wisely.

He posted on Instagram: “It goes without saying this season has been the most difficult in my career so far.

“There have been some incredibly low moments and tough challenges I’ve had to face but I’m grateful to always have the opportunity to do what I love.

Tottenham Hotspur v Aston Villa – Premier League – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

Dele Alli admits this is has been the most difficult season of his career so far (Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA)

“This season has taught me I can’t take anything for granted and I’m more determined than ever to come back fitter and stronger.

“Thanks to the fans for the great support as always and look forward to seeing you all back in the stadiums next season.”

Spurs ended a disappointing campaign in seventh, their lowest finish since 2008, and qualified for the Europa Conference League after a 4-2 win at Leicester.

They face a huge summer ahead, with the search for Mourinho’s successor still going on – though understood to be reaching its end-game – and a battle to keep wantaway star man Harry Kane.

Sealing a place in UEFA’s inaugural third-tier competition continues Tottenham’s run of qualifying for European football, but outgoing interim boss Mason says that does not constitute success this season.

“First of all, we wanted to be in the Champions League. I’ve said all along, it’s disappointing where we are in this moment,” Mason, who will be returning to his role in the academy, said.

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“It’s very disappointing for the football club. It’s important we’re in Europe, not the European competition we’d want to be in.

“So it was important we finished today with a win, for many different reasons. Yes, it’s not the competition we want to be in next year, but it’s a European competition, and we will respect it, that’s for sure.”

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