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The Dele Alli decision that could prove to be crucial to his relationship with Jose Mourinho

The reconciliation of Jose Mourinho and Dele Alli at Tottenham could prove to be a pivotal moment in the club’s season.

Even if it eventually proves to be just temporary, the positive conversation between the two men after the January transfer window closed has led to the integration of Alli back into the Spurs team.

Alli has appeared in every match for Mourinho since he’s returned to fitness and that’s a complete turnaround from the months he spent out of the picture in the Premier League.

While Giovani Lo Celso’s return in the weeks ahead will truly test Alli’s place in Mourinho’s plan, the fact that the door has opened has allowed the 24-year-old to get back into his groove, culminating in Wednesday night’s dazzling display against Wolfsberger AC in the Europa League.

His goal 10 minutes into the encounter showcased the instinctive magic the young Tottenham midfielder can produce at his impudent best.

Alli took Matt Doherty’s cross at an awkward height, allowed it to bounce up high and improvised to send a perfect overhead kick sailing past the goalkeeper.

In the second half he delivered a pinpoint deep cross to Carlos Vinicius for the Brazilian to head home at the back post.

Then not too long after he swept the ball into Gareth Bale’s path for the Welshman to deliver a confident, curling finish into the top corner.

Mourinho was so impressed with Alli’s wonderful early goal that he applauded him long and loud from the touchline.

When the player came off with nine minutes to go, he received an ovation from all of the club staff and substitutes.

“The goal I don’t need to speak about, because everyone watched it and I believe that all around the world on all these sports TV, people are going to watch it, no need to talk about it, but for me the globality of the performance is what matters,” Mourinho said afterwards.

“He played very well in every aspect of the game, he played very well. Of course he’s not fresh, of course you can feel that his performance like in the first leg from minute 55-60 is going always to go down, which is normal due to the circumstances, injured, not training for a long time, coming from a couple of weeks.

“However, in this moment when we are going to play every three days, 10 matches in March, to have Dele back at this level, is amazing.”

Alli’s friend and team-mate Eric Dier chastised those who had written the player off.

“I’m delighted for Dele, a fantastic goal. Step by step he is getting back to his best,” he told BT Sport.

“In football everyone has a short memory, maybe they have forgotten his quality. Maybe tonight has reminded people of that.”

Plenty of credit must go to Alli himself for deciding to keep his head down and work hard despite his absence from the team.

Those inside the club say the player was on his best behaviour during his exile from matchday squads and while Mourinho was not against Alli leaving Spurs in January, there was a desire among others to ensure the young midfielder did not depart, certainly not permanently.

Alli could have thrown his toys out of the pram at missing out on a reunion with Mauricio Pochettino at PSG to play with Neymar and Mbappe, but he remained focused, no doubt realising that once that window closed he had no option other than to try to force his way back into the team.