This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
Jamie Redknapp has hailed Dele Alli after his two-goal haul against AFC Bournemouth, per The Daily Mail.
Alli has returned to form under the management of Jose Mourinho, scoring three goals in the Portuguese’s first three games in charge.
His brace versus the Cherries helped Spurs to a 3-2 win and Redknapp was impressed by what he saw.
Writing in his column, he said: “We witnessed vintage Dele Alli on Saturday. Remember his goal at Crystal Palace in January 2016, when he flicked the ball over his head and volleyed home?
“I’d rate that a 10 out of 10 for difficulty. His second goal against Brighton wasn’t far off that either. He chested down a long ball, squeezed between two defenders, then beat the goalkeeper.
“He had so much to do, but he did it all sublimely. Spurs boss Jose Mourinho will have loved seeing Dele, who is still only 23, do that.”
The key passage in Redknapp’s analysis is his mention of Alli’s age.
He’s still just 23. Compare that to the key midfielders at other top clubs: Kevin De Bruyne is 28, Mesut Ozil is 31, Paul Pogba is 26, Georginio Wijnaldum is 29 and N’Golo Kante is 28.
This is not to say that Alli is a similar type of player to that quintet but he is just as important to Spurs as they are to Manchester City, Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea.
Consider that he is three years younger than Pogba and a clearer picture emerges: He is still developing and improving.
Yes, he hit 18 goals in one Premier League season in 2016/17 but he cannot be expected to hit those heights in every single season thereafter.
He has undergone a dip and he is now getting back to his best; as mentioned, he has time on his side as he looks to continue this run for a little while yet.
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