After being subject to constant transfer talk, Dele Alli finally put all speculations to rest by signing for Tottenham Hotspurs in January before being loaned back to MK Dons for the remainder of the season. The move to Spurs presented Alli an opportunity to be part of one of the best leagues in the world and the midfielder has grabbed the opportunity with both the hands. Impressed with his performances, the England manager Roy Hodgson even offered the 19 year old Alli his international debut against Estonia on Friday. While the match might have been uneventful, it could be the dawn of the career of one of the most impressive youngsters in England.
Alli has featured in 10 fixtures for Spurs over league and cups and seems to be establishing himself in the centre of the park of a side that features the likes of Eriksen, Chadli, Bentaleb and the up and coming Mason. He has featured in the last four Tottenham games and Spurs are yet to lose a game he has started in the league so far.
His time with MK Dons made critics reckon that here is a player who can pick the ball from deep, drive his team forward and even finish the opportunities that come his way. Though he might not be the central figure at his new club, he has been one of the driving forces behind this Tottenham side. One of his top performances this season came against the red hot Manchester City side. Alli clocked an impressive 13.4 KMs in the match stifling the often marauding City side of time and space.
Though he is often talked of as primarily an attacking player, at 19 years of age, Alli has a lot of time to build his game. The most evident development we have seen over the last few weeks is his improved combativeness. He has been disrupting the opposition, putting in critical tackles and making harmless fouls in the middle of the park. He has averaged more than 3 tackles per game apart from making an impressive 4 interceptions per 90 minutes.
Alli is not one of the quickest players in the league. However, his dribbling abilities and movement off the ball and good close control help him break down the opposition. Despite being frail in stature, the midfielder has a good balance to help beat his man and he averages more than 1 successful take-ons per game.
Perhaps, the biggest aspect of his game that we have missed so far is his ability to assist and score goals. He scored 16 goals and accounted for 11 assists in all competitions last season. The step up to Premier League means he will find it tough to replicate these numbers immediately. He scored his only goal this season against Leicester and has created 9 chances in the Premier League and the Europa League. He will need to build on his attacking output as the season grows.
One aspect of his game that needs massive improvement is his ability to keep possession of the ball. He has often been found guilty of making loose passes in critical areas and in a league as competitive as the premier league, a misplaced pass could well be the difference between playing in Europe and not having European fixtures. Fans and critics are already in awe of the young midfielder as he builds his career steadily without much fuss and pomp unlike many other youngsters.
We, for one, are impressed with the formed MK Dons midfielder and will keep a constant eye on him. Mauricio Pocchetino has a potentially world class midfielder on his books and he will looking to ensure that the midfielder’s skills are harnessed into taking Spurs to the next level.