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Roy Hodgson pleased to see Dele Alli back in Tottenham mix: ‘It’s sad when a player like him hits hard times’

Malik Ouzia
·1-min read
 (The FA via Getty Images)
(The FA via Getty Images)

Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson says he is delighted to see Dele Alli back on track at Tottenham - even if his return could spell trouble for the Eagles in this afternoon’s London derby.

It was Hodgson that handed Dele his England debut as a teenager back in 2015 and after a period in the wilderness under Jose Mourinho, the midfielder is back in first team contention at Spurs having made his first league start since the opening day of the season in the midweek win over Fulham.

No move materialised and the playmaker is back in favour after he struck a wonder goal in the Europa League against Wolfsberger last month before playing a key role in Thursday’s 1-0 win at Fulham.

Hodgson will face Alli on Sunday when Palace visit Tottenham, and he has been a long-term fan of the former MK Dons ace.

“I am very pleased for him because he is a player I like and admire,” the 73-year-old said.

“He is an excellent player and it’s always sad when a player with so much potential hits hard times and maybe is not able to get his place in the team for whatever reason that is.

“It’s very good on a personal basis for my relationship if you like with Dele Alli, who I enjoyed working with and who I thought was a very good player, to see him playing again.

“But I wouldn’t have minded if he waited another couple of weeks!”

Additional reporting by PA.

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