Why critics of Dele should compare this season's stats to previous Tottenham campaigns

Dele Alli of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates scoring his sides third goal during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool at Wembley Stadium on October 22, 2017 in...

Has the Tottenham Hotspur midfielder been below par this season?

Tottenham Hotspur's English midfielder Dele Alli reacts to their defeat after the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford in...Tottenham Hotspur's English midfielder Dele Alli reacts to their defeat after the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur

There have been more than a few critics lining up Tottenham Hotspur star Dele Alli as a disappointment this season, despite the youngster posting decent stats compared to his previous seasons.

True, the most recent memory of the England midfielder was a disappointing miss in last weekend's crunch game between Tottenham and Manchester United - the 21-year-old volleying wide just before Anthony Martial netted what ended up being the winner in the battle between Manchester City's top two challengers.

Dele Alli of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates scoring his sides third goal during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool at Wembley Stadium on October 22, 2017 in...Dele Alli of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates scoring his sides third goal during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool

But looking at Dele's first three seasons at the club give Spurs supporters two reasons to be optimistic.

Firstly, despite mixed performances in the early stages of the season, the Tottenham star is way up at this point when it comes to goals and assists than during his first two campaigns in North London.

Dele has five goals and one assist to his name in 12 games so far this season. At this stage last year, he had scored three goals but hadn't supplied any assists.

And in his first season, Dele had just one goal and one assist - though it is worth noting that his first few appearances for the club came as a substitute. However, even if you include his first 12 starts he is nowhere near this season's goal count.  

Dele Alli of Tottenham Hotspur in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City at White Hart Lane on September 26, 2015 in London, United...Dele Alli of Tottenham Hotspur in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City in 2015

Proof then that he is ahead of where he normally is at this stage of the campaign.

Secondly, in both of his previous seasons, the former MK Dons man started slowly and exploded into form in December - with two goals and three assists in 2015/16 and four goals and two assists a year later. In both seasons, his form helped Spurs excel over the festive period and pushed player and club into impressive campaigns.

Dele may not have been at his best so far, but dismiss him at your peril. Critics may be eating humble pie instead of Turkey this Christmas.

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