Jose Mourinho should leave Dele Alli out of the Tottenham starting XI for Tuesday’s match against West Ham because Erik Lamela deserves to keep his place, according to former Spurs striker Darren Bent.
Alli missed Friday’s 1-1 draw against Manchester United because he was suspended for posting a racially insensitive video on social media in February amid the coronavirus pandemic, with Argentina international Lamela lining up in attacking midfield for his 11th start in the Premier League this season.
The 24-year-old, who has scored nine times in 35 appearances in all competitions this term, is available to aid the London side's quest for a place in next season's Champions League when they are in action against the Hammers on Tuesday.
However Bent believes Jose Mourinho should put England international Alli on the bench for another week and instead give Lamela another chance to shine alongside star striker Harry Kane and wingers Son Heung-min and Steven Bergwijn.
“It’s going to be an interesting one because I think he might go with the same team,” Bent said in an interview with Football Insider. “I think Bergwijn, he’s going to play after his goal and his performance, Harry Kane, he’s not going to drop him, Son, you’re not going to drop him, so the next one is Lamela.
“You’d have to say Lamela played really, really well and to be fair, Lo Celso didn’t even start. I think Lamela might have to wait and wait.
“I think it would be a little bit unfair if Lamela was to come out. Every player deserves a fair crack and Lamela hasn’t at times hasn’t covered himself in glory which is why he hasn’t been a regular but when he does play well, I think he’s earned the right to get another go.”
Tottenham are eighth in the Premier League after 30 games, four points behind United, who occupy the Europa League place, and a further two points behind fourth-placed Chelsea.
After Tuesday's clash with their London rivals, Mourinho's men, who have not won any of their last seven matches in all competitions, visit Sheffield United on July 2.