Jose Mourinho has insisted Dele Alli was fully deserving of being handed a start in Tottenham’s win over Fulham.
Alli’s name was a surprise one in the starting XI on Thursday, as the only previous game he had started in the Premier League was the home loss to Everton on September 13.
At times it appeared the England international had no future at the club, but he started in the win over Wolfsberger in the Europa League towards the end of February and played almost half an hour off the bench in the win over Burnley.
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Alli justified his selection against the Cottagers by forcing the only goal of the game, with his effort being turned into his own net by Tosin Adarabioyo, and Mourinho has insisted his place in the team was reward for hard work and persistence.
"He deserved to start,” Mourinho said. “It was not a gift.
It was a consequence of his work since he came back and working 100 per cent. He was giving us important things.
“He did very well in the Europa League and very well in every minute he had. He was deserving. We need the squad we have."
The win moved Tottenham on to 42 points and kept them in the hunt for European qualification.
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