Mourinho says Dele Alli "quiet and sad" after below-par start to season

Jose Mourinho says Dele Alli cut a dejected figure after he was hauled off at half-time of Tottenham's defeat to Everton on Sunday.

The attacking midfielder had been lauded by his manager before the match, with the Portuguese pointing to his impressive form in pre-season matches and the fact that he had been omitted from the England squad as two reasons for optimism over his form going into the new season.

But he ended up on the fringes of things in the first period, as Spurs struggled to exert any authority on the match.

The England international was replaced by Moussa Sissoko at half-time, and Mourinho says he was upset by the switch.

"Dele was quiet, he was sad,” said Mourinho on Wednesday, speaking to the press ahead of Tottenham's Europa League qualifier against Lokomotiv Plovdiv.

“After the game, he was just one of many.

“He’s a good boy, very, very polite and I never saw from him a strong reaction. A good boy, a really good boy.”

Mourinho also spoke on the growiing suggestions that Gareth Bale could be about to return to Tottenham following seven years away at Real Madrid.

Bale is said to be closing in on a loan deal in north London, and although not addressing the speculation directly, Mourinho confirmed that he is an admirer of the Welshman.

"I tried to sign him for Real Madrid which was not possible to do during my time there," he added.

"But the president followed my instinct and my knowledge and the season I left he brought Gareth to the club. 

"There is no secret on that. Even Gareth knows that. But I'm not going to speak about him anymore because he is a Real Madrid player."

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