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…
Former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Jamie Redknapp has written in his latest Daily Mail column that current Spurs man Dele Alli should have “a swagger about him” in training on Monday following his goalscoring exploits at the weekend.
Well, the 23-year-old rescued a point for Spurs at home to bottom-of-the-table Watford at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday, as the north London outfit avoided another embarrassing defeat.
Alli had only played 30 minutes of Premier League football this term prior to the clash against the Hornets when he was named in the starting XI by Mauricio Pochettino, and he repaid the Argentine’s faith by getting on the score-sheet late on.
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Redknapp was clearly impressed with what he saw from Alli, writing in The Daily Mail: ‘Dele Alli does not turn 24 years old for another six months, yet this kid is already ahead of the rest when you think of those who graced England’s midfield before him.
‘Frank Lampard, for example, played 185 Premier League games before turning 24. In those, he managed 43 goals or assists. Steven Gerrard played 170 and got to 47. David Beckham played in 140 and got to 65. All great players, all big names.
‘Too many have been quick to judge Alli and I hope Saturday can be the start of him showing us what he is all about.
‘He should be walking into Tottenham’s training ground on Monday morning with a swagger about him, feeling ready to get to work.’
Injuries and not being able to rediscover the form he has shown in the final third for Tottenham previously have really affected the England international over the course of the last 18 months or so, with his goals and assists record last season particularly disappointing considering what came before – 14 goals and 17 assists in 2017/18, for example.
The fact the 23-year-old started and scored an important goal could easily be a turning point for the former MK Dons man though, as Redknapp says, and it also comes on the back of him taking action off the pitch in terms of changing his diet and doing less commercial work.
Alli will hope to build upon that goal on Saturday against Red Star Belgrade on Tuesday if he is given the nod for the Champions League tie, and boy could Spurs and Pochettino do with having the confident player that has been so influential for them in the past back now with confidence still clearly low in north London.