Antonio Conte has hailed Dele Alli as a player with “great potential” and has promised him the chance to start games again for Tottenham – if he shows he deserves it.
Alli has 12 appearances for Spurs this season but failed to impress Nuno Espirito Santo, with his game time becoming increasingly limited by the end of the Portuguese’s brief reign.
Alli also struggled under Jose Mourinho, Nuno’s predecessor, but Conte has positive memories of the 25-year-old from his previous spell in England.
Alli scored twice for Spurs when they ended Chelsea’s 13-game winning run in the 2016/17 season – the year the Blues won the Premier League under Conte.
And the new Spurs boss said: “I remember very well when we played against Tottenham in the past, specifically one game when we lost after 13 wins in a row and Dele scored twice.
“But this is the past. Now there is a present and for sure Dele is a player that has great potential. Physically he is strong and very good.
“For sure I give him the possibility to show he has talent. At the same time, when I pick the starting XI I do it because I think they can bring the team to win, the same when I make changes during the game.
“I am open, I am open for every single player in Tottenham. The most important thing is they show me they deserve the chance to play.
“The door is open for every single player. My first thought is to try and give them the best situation to show their talent, but then they need to show me I must be sure to give them a chance and repay. For all players, every single player.
“For now we are starting from zero, there is a new coach. I tell every single player, not specifically Dele, ‘show me you deserve to play from the start and I will give you the chance to start.'”
Conte’s Spurs reign began with a chaotic 3-2 win over Dutch side Vitesse Arnhem in the Europa Conference League on Thursday, and he will take charge of his first Premier League game at Everton on Sunday.
Conte’s final Premier League match in charge of Chelsea was a 3-0 loss at Rafael Benitez’s Newcastle, and the Italian is expecting a tough game when he renews acquaintances with the Spaniard at Goodison Park.
“I remember that I lost my last game in the Premier League against Benitez,” he said. “For sure, our expectation is to have a tough game because Everton is a really good team. Goodison Park is not an easy place to play.
“At the same time, we want to show, to try to improve the result, especially for our place in the table. It won’t be easy.
“We need to work a lot to try to improve this team. There are many, many aspects. Not only tactical but also physically. We need a bit of time to do this.”
Everton midfielder Fabian Delph could make his first start of the season against Tottenham after playing the second half of Monday’s loss at Wolves on his return from injury.
Yerry Mina (thigh) remains out but fellow defender Lucas Digne, who missed the Wolves game, has trained this week and is expected to be available.
Striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin (thigh) and midfielders Andre Gomes (calf) and Abdoulaye Doucoure (foot) are absent.
New Tottenham head coach Antonio Conte will assess his players after their Thursday night exertions against Vitesse Arnhem.
Conte picked a full-strength squad for his first game in charge in the Europa Conference League and it was a tough encounter, which they won 3-2.
Defender Ryan Sessegnon and midfielder Bryan Gil (both hamstring) are not expected to be fit.
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