The Englishman is much more effective when pushed slightly further up the pitch, playing as a second striker. In the 2016/17 season, Alli enjoyed his most successful individual campaign, racking up 18 goals and nine assists in the league alone, in a system which often saw two more defensive-minded players sitting behind him, such as Eric Dier and Victor Wanyama. At PSG, the midfield is stacked with those more defensive-minded players, which can often see them over-rely on their attackers to create and score goals.
Alli coming into this side will offer them a more well-rounded midfield and take some of the pressure off Neymar, who is the main creative spark of the team. With the Parisians boasting midfielders such as Ander Herrera, Marco Verratti and Danilo Pereira, there is enough defensive cover in midfield to accommodate Alli, meaning he is free to roam and focus on creating.
Mbappe has struggled as of late, with the Frenchman scoring just twice in his last eight games – a poor return given the incredibly high standards he has set for himself. However, of those eight games, he has played six of them out on the wing, with his only two goals in that run coming when playing as a centre forward.
The World Cup winner has had to play on the wings due to the lack of options for PSG. Neymar has been out injured, but when he has been fit he has most recently been playing just behind the main striker, leaving a slot on the left wing that needed filling. If Alli is to join PSG, then this would give them a fresh option in attacking midfield, thus allowing Mbappe to return to the position in which he has been so lethal.
The 22-year-old has scored eight goals in seven games when playing through the middle, so it would be in the best interests of Pochettino to allow Mbappe to continue in this role and get Alli pulling the strings alongside one of the very best of this generation, Neymar.
By Luke Feather