ANTONIO CONTE firmly believes Tottenham were right to sell Dele Alli in January.
The Italy boss believes the fallen England star could revive his ailing career and insists it’s in his hands.
But Conte isn’t worried the decision will bite his butt when Dele, 25, returns to Spurs with new club Everton tonight.
He claims none of the players he’s gotten rid of in his managerial career have ever progressed to better things.
Dele left for Goodison on transfer deadline day after a drastic loss of form, fitness and focus saw him drop out of the first-team in his final years at Spurs.
In fact, by the end of his stay, he couldn’t even get to the bench.
Despite this, he remained a huge favorite with the club’s supporters, who regretted to see him go.
But Conte said: “I think it was a good decision for the player and the club. This decision was the best for the player because he wasn’t playing.
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“He hasn’t played regularly in recent years and I think it was good for him to go into a different environment and then have a different challenge for himself.
“I think it was a good decision for both the club and Dele.
“What I can tell you is that during the time we worked together I tried to get the best out of him and he was always involved in the training session.
“But in the end it was a good decision for him and he deserves a lot of respect for what he has done for this club during the time he has been playing here.”
Alli was just 18 when Spurs signed him in February 2015 for just £5million from Milton Keynes Dons, where he had been since he was 11.
He stayed there on loan for the rest of that season and helped them win automatic promotion to the championship.
But no one could have predicted the all-powerful impact he would make at Tottenham when he joined them this summer.
The rookie teenager appeared match fit and eager to impress on the first day of pre-season training.
I think it was a good decision for the player and the club. This decision was the best for the player because he wasn’t playing.
Antonio Conte on the sale of Dele Alli
His new teammates were amazed at how the new boy seemed to take it all on himself.
Mind you, if you’ve come from a dysfunctional home on a troubled council estate in Milton Keynes, you’ll never be impressed by a life-changing move to one of the Premier League’s biggest clubs.
His attitude and skill forced then-Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino to scrap plans to loan him out and add him to his squad instead.
Under the tutelage of Poch, who became as much a father figure as a coach, Alli went from street footballer to one of football’s hottest talents.
In his first season at Spurs, he won the first of two consecutive PFA Young Player of the Year awards after finishing with 10 first-class goals as the north Londoners pushed Leicester to the title before eventually finishing third.
It also earned him a call-up to the England squad, where he became a permanent fixture.
But after helping the Three Lions to the semi-finals of the World Cup and signing a Megabucks new long-term deal with Tottenham in 2018, cracks began to appear.
Despite helping Spurs reach the 2019 Champions League final, he suffered a slump in form that was compounded by problems with his hamstring.
THE UP AND DOWN
And the whispers that his head was being turned by a string of lucrative commercial endorsements and the bright lights of London grew louder and louder.
When he most needed an arm around him, Spurs sacked Pochettino and replaced him with Jose Mourinho, whose first step was to make a public call to Alli.
The player’s form and confidence slumped even further and by the time the Special One was sacked last August Alli had long since lost his place in the Tottenham and England teams.
When asked where everything went wrong for him, Conte said: “It’s difficult to say anything about it, but for sure he’s still young and his career is in his hands.”
But Conte says he’s not worried about Alli returning to pursue him tonight.
The Spurs boss said: “I don’t recall any player coming back with a great spirit of revenge after leaving.
“What usually happens is that when the players went away, they went down, not up.”
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/football/premier-league/4836594/selling-dele-spurs-conte-alli-everton/ ‘Selling Dele was the right move’ – Spurs boss Conte is certain he won’t regret dumping Alli when he returns with Everton