NEWS

\n UEFA have used this week\'s Champions League fixtures to promote their #EqualGame campaign, but obv...
\nRomelu Lukaku hit the headlines after Manchester United\'s Champions League win over Benfica after h...
\n Radja Nainggolan has hinted that he is set for a move to the Premier League.\n The Roma midfielder ...
\nMartin Keown has revealed what is being said about Jack Wilshere behind the scenes at Arsenal - and...
\nWayne Rooney will play no part in Everton\'s Europa League clash with Lyon at Goodison Park on Thurs...
Read More
Tottenhams-Dele-Alli-celebrates-scoring-their-first-goal.jpg

Pochettino shocked by Alli’s “unbelievable” numbers which make put him in Lampard and Gerrard’s league

Date Posted,April 9, 2017

Even Mauricio Pochettino was surprised by the numbers.

Dele Alli will ­celebrate his 21st birthday on Tuesday having played a part in 40 Premier League goals before the ­landmark – the same number as Frank ­Lampard (15), Steven Gerrard (13) and David Beckham (12) combined.

Never mind the fact Chelsea remain seven points clear at the top. It is frightening to consider the player that Spurs’ No.20 is becoming.

“Wow! It’s unbelievable, no?” said boss Pochettino when told of the stats. “But he’s still green. He’s great. First of all a great kid. A lovely, ­person. And then he is a great player. He is so young he can improve a lot, he can learn a lot, his potential is massive.”

Alli netted his 19th goal of the season against Watford on Saturday (Photo: REUTERS)
Alli is statistically better than Beckham, Gerrard and Lampard – put together (Photo: Dan Mullan)

No wonder the Argentine wants to protect his rising star to ensure he does not go the way of so many others with his towering potential. He believes the continued ­improvement of Alli ­(celebrating his goal with Son Heung-min, below left) ­vindicates his ­decision to back the England ­midfielder after his Europa League red card in ­February against Gent.

Alli’s X-rated tackle on ­defender Brecht Dejaegere means he will miss the first three games of next season’s Champions League. But ­Pochettino (with Joshua ­Onomah, below) said: “I remember always after the Gent game many people criticised me for ­supporting him.

“They wanted to kill me, kill him, but the time has shown we were right to support him.

Alli slams in against Watford to keep Spurs’ dwindling title bid alive (Photo: Getty Images)

“This character he has is perfect for a player. When you are winning and you feel that to lose on the pitch is like ­losing your life, that is all we want in a player.

“Of course, he is young and he needs to improve, but he needs love. To improve, it’s not about looking to punch him or to punish him.”

The £5million spent to take Alli from MK Dons two years ago is fast becoming one of the best investments on any ­Premier League player for some time. Pochettino and Spurs deserve as much credit for his upward trajectory as Alli himself does for keeping his feet on the ground.

His sensational, curling, opening goal here means only Romelu Lukaku (13) and Harry Kane (11) have scored more top-flight goals in 2017 than Alli’s 10, level with Bournemouth’s Josh King.

Pochettino and Alli took a lot of grief for this tackle against Gent (Photo: PA)

Spurs staged their own Goal of the Day competition after Alli’s opener. Eric Dier smashed in a scorcher from the edge of the box and Son left Spurs old boy Heurelho Gomes with no chance with two great finishes.

So it says something about the performance of right-back Kieran Trippier that his ­performance stood out even above all of theirs – as his ­deliveries were outstanding.

Kyle Walker might have a job getting back into the side.

And Pochettino dodged the question of whether England could have two right-backs in their next squad. “That is

not my problem, it is Gareth ­Southgate’s,” he laughed.

poll loading

Is Dele Alli Europe’s best young player?

500+ VOTES SO FAR

Back to previous page

payment with

Security