Graham Roberts, a former Tottenham Hotspur captain, has described former manager Jose Mourinho’s handling of Dele Alli as “absolutely pathetic.”

Nuno Espirito Santo’s first game in charge of Spurs came last Saturday, when Spurs drew 1-1 with Leyton Orient in a pre-season friendly.

Tottenham supporters may have been relieved to see Alli included in the starting XI against the O’s.

The offensive midfielder made only 15 Premier League appearances last season after being shut out by then-manager Jose Mourinho. Alli started five of the past six Premier League games after Mourinho’s dismissal and Ryan Mason’s appointment as interim manager.

Alli’s offensive flair has seen him score 65 goals and provide 60 assists for his teammates, demonstrating his effectiveness for the club. Graham Roberts, a former Tottenham player, was not pleased with Mourinho’s handling of the midfielder last season.

“I’ve always admired Dele Alli; I believe he’s a fantastic player,” he said.

“You know how Mourinho treated him last year was absolutely pitiful. You do not treat football players in that manner in order to elicit their greatest performance, and I believe the rest of the players turned against Mourinho as a result”.

Alli will be aiming to be a vital role in Nuno Espirito Santo’s side this season and revert to his former level of excellence in order to assist Tottenham reclaim a place in the top four and compete for trophies.