Tottenham Hotspur news: Steven Bergwijn in danger of becoming another Dele Alli

Bergwijn

Tottenham Hotspur star Steven Bergwijn made an instant impact after he was brought into the club by Jose Mourinho in January earlier this year. 

Handed the toughest possible debut against Manchester City, Bergwijn immediately captured the imagination of Spurs supporters by netting the opener in their 2-0 victory. 

Unsurprisingly, Mourinho named the flying winger in the starting XI for the Lilywhites' next five consecutive Premier League games. 

During that run Bergwijn added to his tally with strikes against Wolves and Manchester United while showcasing many aspects of his footballing repertoire. 

But the 23-year-old started just two of Spurs' final eight league games of the season. In clashes against Sheffield United and Bournemouth, he was hooked off after 56 and 45 minutes respectively. 

There were already ominous signs for Bergwijn when the 2020/21 season got underway, and Dele Alli's seismic fall from grace showed just how ruthless Mourinho can be when his players fail to perform.

It's unlikely that a place in Spurs exile beckons for Bergwijn any time soon, but his slip onto the periphery having made just three Premier League starts since 19 June does not bode well following a summer in which the club finally fulfilled a long-mooted prophecy by bringing Gareth Bale back to north London.

Gareth Bale

Though Bergwijn has suffered with injury niggles this season, his ominous lack of game time and struggle to make a palpable impact when handed the chance to impress are becoming increasingly problematic. 

He has not scored since June nor assisted since July and there is an absence of the spark he displayed during the early stages of his career in English football. Fleeting flashes remind us of what he is capable of, but his threat is rarely sustained for any significant length of time.

That he has averaged just 0.6 key passes and 0.6 dribbles per game in all-competitions this season attests to his struggle to discover his best form, while Mourinho's decision to withdraw him at half-time during Spurs' humbling defeat against Antwerp last week tells a story of its own. 

If the Netherlands international is to avoid following Alli down a similar path, he will need to fend off competition for places from Bale, Lucas Moura, Son Heung-min and Erik Lamela.  

That is quite the breadth of options available to Mourinho but the extra competition should ultimately be conducive to an improvement in Bergwijn's performances.

Given Son is simply an undroppable, scintillating menace right now, the former PSV star is likely to find himself in a four-way battle for just one place down the right-wing. On recent form that's not a fight he's going to win.

Son

The silver lining for Bergwijn that should spare him of the Alli treatment - for now at least - is that he is still a recent recruit trying to find his way in a new division. Add in the fact that he has had to deal with the challenges of re-settling in the midst of a global pandemic and it's easy to understand why the initial promise has slowly faded in recent months.

But even with the aforementioned caveats in mind, the £27m star's downward trend will concern a manager in Mourinho who waits for no one in his indefatigable quest for silverware. 

If Bergwijn wants to avoid following Alli into footballing no man's land, he'll need to provide Mourinho with a swift reminder of why the club swooped for his services. 

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