Dele Alli hasn’t just taken the Premier League by storm this season, he’s taken the entire footballing world along with him.
It’s taken the 19-year-old just 26 games to cement himself as one of the most promising players England has seen in years. Top clubs watch him week-after-week but it doesn’t seem to faze him – and the performances just seem to get better and better.
The one-time Liverpool target hadn’t even played in the top two leagues before the start of this season, after spending his early career with MK Dons.
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But despite this not being at the highest level, this is where Alli learned his trade and the need to persevere. And as the media pressure intensifies around the youngster and his performances, he will need to call on this time in his career and put it to good use – especially with the Euros just around the corner.
Make no mistake, Alli should be on the plane to France. He is one of a handful of new, up-and-coming English players that could take the world by storm this summer.
He has the world’s media to impress and don’t get me wrong, they will be there to watch him extremely closely indeed.
The only thing that will stand in Alli’s way is an injury, or a severe lack of form. But the way he’s playing and also the stars he has around him, that seems very unlikely.
Spurs need to nurture their young star and although he has been thrust into the limelight at this early age, they have to protect him. Everyone is talking about him and his name is over every newspaper in England, and around the world.
It seems strange to associate his name with “the most valuable teenager in European football”. But that is the case according to the Football Observatory, a Swiss-based company who work with Fifa and Uefa to calculate the worth of young talent round the world.
They now predict Alli is worth in the region of £26.5million – a whopping five times more than the £5million they paid for him at the start of the season.
His worth continues to grow and so does the list of clubs admiring him. Unfortunately for Spurs, unless they qualify for the Champions League season after season and do well, he will soon be prised away by a club that can offer him countless success and silverware.
But at the moment, Spurs won’t care. He has a new contract worth £25,000-per-week which will keep him at White Hart Lane until the summer of 2021, so he is safe enough right now.
His strike against Crystal Palace will surely go down in Premier League history. A fantastic piece of control, a lob over a hapless Mile Jedinak and a volley that flew past Wayne Hennessey will be goal of the season – unless there is another piece of sorcery as spectacular shown this campaign.
Alli needs to continue what he’s doing. As long as he stays on the right tracks and works hard he will get to the top. And that is fantastic news for Tottenham and England.