People think they have figured out the reason behind Dele Alli's decline
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Dele Alli's unfortunate record when it comes to injuries has played a major part in his career decline, according to some fans.
The 27-year-old midfielder has been ruled out for the rest of the 2022/23 campaign after picking up a muscle hip injury during his loan spell at Besiktas.
It is another setback in what has been a disappointing spell of late. Alli was considered by many as one of the brightest young prospects in world football during his early days at Spurs.
In fact, he won back-to-back PFA Young Player of the Year awards, as well as earning consecutive appearances in the Premier League Team of the Year, while at the North London club.
But the boyhood MK Dons midfielder struggled towards the end of his time at Tottenham and beyond.
With his failed loan spell in Turkey coming to an abrupt end, questions over his 'decline' continue to be raised following his return to Everton last weekend.
Some have pointed to his attitude off the pitch after a picture on social media appeared to show Alli with a balloon in his mouth while sat at a table alongside canisters of nitrous oxide.
While others think his unfortunate luck in the injury department is to blame.
If you look at his lengthy injury history on Transfermarkt, then it's easy to understand why fans have jumped to that conclusion. From early September 2018 to August 2019, Dele sustained damage to his left hamstring on four occasions, including one strain that forced him out for 12 matches.
Other knocks include torn ligaments, thigh muscle strains, an ankle injury and a posterior tendon injury close to his hamstring.
Plenty of fans took to social media to express their thoughts on Dele's history when it comes to injuries.
One said: "Watching him over the past few years it’s obvious he can’t run anymore. Looks so stiff and slow - injuries have clearly taken their toll. Yet, for some, it’s easier just to question his desire and work ethic."
A second wrote: "He was an absolute freak (complimentary) making 3rd man runs until that third hamstring tear."
A third added: "Reckon a lot of football fans don't actually realise how much of an impact muscle injuries have to players. Expect them to come back into the team and be at the same level immediately."
Everton manager Sean Dyche, meanwhile, is keen to give Alli another chance at Goodison Park, but urged the 27-year-old to "do the right thing" and rescue his Toffees career.
In his latest press conference ahead of Everton's home clash against Fulham, Dyche was asked about the recent talks he had with Dele.
“[We spoke] about his injury, how he saw it. How he saw his time on loan and how he saw what he wants to do," he said.
"First thing first is get the injury right. As regards football. Anything else is down to him. Some of it is common sense, do the right things and you know what the right things are.
“Some of the stuff that’s been reported… He’s 27. He knows (what) he should or shouldn’t be doing - as a manager, you can’t control everything they do in their lives. What am I meant to do? Follow him around every minute of every day they live their lives?
"You can only guide players with what’s good for them. Eventually, players have their own choices to make. Of course, you want them to make good choices. It’s going to take some time to get sorted out, so hopefully he uses this period wisely. And yes, I have spoken to him.”