Nathan Redmond says Besiktas team-mate Dele Alli has 'been under a lot more scrutiny than others' in recent years

Nathan Redmond defends Dele Alli at Besiktas
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Dele Alli has failed to resurrect his career thus far in Turkey, with his Besiktas manager Senol Gunes first publicly stating he "doesn't deserve to play", before claiming he had "gone missing" following a sanctioned doctor's appointment. 

However, Besiktas team-mate Nathan Redmond has defended the 26-year-old, suggesting the spotlight Alli has had on him since breaking into the Tottenham first-team and England set-up at such a young age would be difficult for any player to deal with.

Nathan Redmond and Alli both joined the Turkish club at the same time last year, in the 2022 summer transfer window. The pair had played for England U21 together, with Redmond later making his single senior international appearance in 2017 during a 1-0 loss to Germany alongside Alli.

"We’ve been friends for a long time," Redmond tells FourFourTwo. "Before this, we were speaking in the summer, just about life in general. 

"It’s hard sometimes for someone of Dele’s stature, who’s been at the very top and been under a lot more scrutiny than others in the last five or six years. He’s had a lot of injuries - that’s definitely played a factor in his confidence and how he performs sometimes, but off the pitch he’s as normal as anyone. 

"He enjoys playing Call of Duty. He loves playing football, and he loves training every day and trying to improve."

That one international appearance for Redmond certainly still plays on his mind, the 29-year-old recognising his shortcomings as a player despite believing he still had the requisite ability to play on the elite stage.

Explaining why he has so far failed to play more than one game for England, Redmond suggests performing week-in, week-out has proven his downfall.

"There’s a perception I’m not consistent enough," Redmond suggests. 

"Gareth Southgate and Steve Holland regularly visit Premier League training grounds – they always told me they had their eyes on me, not to give up. The more you see youngsters coming through, the more it drifts out of sight, but my attitude is if I focus on what I do at club level, it will take care of itself. 

"It’s about consistency over a longer period and I don’t think I’ve done that as often as I’d like."

With his contract at Besiktas is due to expire in the summer, Redmond only has one thought in his mind for his next destination.

"After this season I’ll be a free agent, and the main objective is to get back to the Premier League. I’m enjoying this experience, but I’d be lying if I said I haven’t had a little eye on the summer. I have to perform as well as possible for Besiktas in the meantime."

Succeed on his return and, who knows, Redmond could well force his way back into the international set-up. 

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Ryan Dabbs
Staff writer

Ryan is a staff writer for FourFourTwo, joining the team full-time in October 2022. He first joined Future in December 2020, working across FourFourTwo, Golf Monthly, Rugby World and Advnture's websites, before eventually earning himself a position with FourFourTwo permanently. After graduating from Cardiff University with a degree in Journalism and Communications, Ryan earned a NCTJ qualification to further develop as a writer while a Trainee News Writer at Future.