Dele Alli was extensively linked with a move to Liverpool before he pulled the plug on the rumour and joined rivals Tottenham in January. Having spent the rest of the last season back at MK Dons, the now England international arrived at White Hart Lane under immense scrutiny as one of the top talents to come out of England.
We believe that the transfer has worked wonders for him and manager Pochettino. For some one of just 19 years of age, Alli has already become one of the mainstays of the side and is showing signs of rapid growth. Many pundits even went on to proclaim that the Englishman is a future national team captain after he picked up his first cap against France. Back after serving his suspension against Chelsea, the former MK Dons midfielder continued with his fine form by scoring a goal and putting in another immense shift in the middle of the park yesterday.
Though he can play as an attacking central midfielder, Alli has often been used as a deep lying midfielder by Pochettino. He has often been seen picking up the ball from deep and driving the side forward, making it tougher for the opposition to check his run in time. He brings immense energy to the midfield ably aided by his abilities on and off the ball, making him a nuisance for the opposition in attack as well as defence. He has often been seen breaking up the play in the middle of the park, averaging a successful tackle every 38 minutes at a success rate close to 40% (just in case you were wondering why he was suspended against Chelsea, flying into tackles at the pace he does: one every 15 minutes, makes him vulnerable to cards and suspensions). While he may not be very efficient going into tackles, his frequency more than makes up. Another impressive aspect of his game is his ability to read it. He has completed close to 3 interceptions every 90 minutes, which is an incredible indicator of his understanding of the game.
At MK Dons, the midfielder built a reputation for finding the back of the net, scoring 16 goals apart from assisting 11 in the previous campaign. While he might have not replicated the same numbers at Tottenham, it is understandable. Making the jump from League One to Premier League, one of the toughest league in the world, is no easy task after all. However, it looks like his form in front of the goal might be picking some speed as he has either assisted or scored 3 of Spurs’ last 4 goals. He can strike the ball pretty well and his movement off the ball into the box often presents him with opportunities in front of the goal. In a league where time and space come at a premium, Alli often finds the time and space to operate in, a skill not easily appreciated, but very tough to master.
The only issue we have with the England international is his wastefulness with possession at times. He will need to be more precise and efficient with his passing to ensure better results in the future.
Former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard recently expressed disappointment that the Anfield side had foregone the chance to sign the midfielder:
”I was actually disappointed Liverpool didn’t sign him,” Gerrard told BT Sport.
“I thought he was certainly a player Liverpool might have tried to go for, especially with me coming to the end.
“He was certainly a player that I could see who could play for Liverpool for 10 or 15 years. He’s certainly got that ability.”
With performances that he is put in over the short while he has been in the league, it is evident why the legendary midfielder thought that Alli was the right heir to him at Anfield.