LONDON – Jose Mourinho paid a glowing tribute to Dele Alli after the 23-year-old inspired Tottenham Hotspur to a 3-2 Premier League win over West Ham United at London Stadium on Saturday to kickstart the Portuguese's reign as manager.
Ahead of the game, Mourinho had challenged Alli, who has often seemed out-of-sorts this season, to show his real self and the manager was rewarded with an outrageous piece of skill from his new charge in the lead-up to Spurs' second goal.
The ball appeared out of play before Alli somehow scooped it down the line to Son Henung-min who set up Lucas Moura with a pinpoint cross.
"(Alli's) too good to not be one of the best players in the world and not playing with the national team," said Mourinho, who hugged the midfielder warmly as he left the field.
Alli also played a pivotal part in Son's opener and looked back to his best after a series of lacklustre performances caused him to lose his place in the England squad.