Spurs Star Dele Alli Could Be England’s World Cup Star!

If England manager Gareth Southgate was sending Dele Alli a message by leaving him out of the Three Lions starting eleven in recent friendlies against The Netherlands and Italy, then the Tottenham Hotspur attacking midfielder responded in empathic fashion this past weekend.

The youngster bagged a vital double as Spurs downed current Premier League champions Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

That recent brace took Dele to twelve strikes for the season and he’s also got fourteen assists to his name. In terms of goals, he hasn’t reached the heights of last term where he scored eighteen in the Premier League but he has improved his assist stats.

It should be noted that he’s also improved with his performances in the Champions League. He famously scored two as Spurs demolished European champs Real Madrid at Wembley. The creative star also grabbed assists against Borussia Dortmund and Juventus.

This proves that Alli is a player who can make an impact in the biggest of games and England will need that in the summer if they fancy progressing in the upcoming World Cup.

Obviously Southgate has other options for that position, notably Jesse Lingard who has impressed for Manchester United this year but for me, Dele Alli is naturally a better talent. Lingard doesn’t measure up to Alli in terms of goals or assists this term, although the Man United man has played less minutes on the park.

If England play with Harry Kane as a lone striker, then it would make sense to have his club teammate Alli playing in behind him. They have a superb working relationship and both seem to instinctively know where the other is.

Dele is marvellous at making excellent runs going beyond the main forward and getting a goal, just look at his first against Chelsea on Sunday. He has a great first touch and good vision to release a key pass at the right time.

There’s still question marks about his discipline, the young player still seems to get caught up in silly tangles with opponents that he should stay away from but that spikiness shows he has desire and that’s not a bad thing.

I think people still forget that Dele Alli is still just twenty-one years old. That is why his club boss Mauricio Pochettino reminded everyone during build up and the aftermath of the Chelsea encounter:

“It’s been a tough period for him, but I like his talent, his character. I’m so happy for him because he deserved it. In the end, he’s a great talent, only 21 years old, and sometimes we lose the focus on that. He’s only 21. Sometimes the expectation is too much.”

Having Pochettino as his Tottenham gaffer has certainly helped Dele, as the Argentine seems determined to manage expectation levels and back the player at every possible opportunity.

Now Gareth Southgate needs to figure out how to do that on the international stage and get the most out of Alli. The England boss also needs to do the same with Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling.

If he can get those two young prospects firing on all cylinders in Russia this summer, then I’d fully expect England to go deep into the competition.

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