Dele Alli 20 Midfielder Tottenham Hotspur England
Skillful, energetic and snide - these are a few of our favourite football things etc. A tough midfielder not afraid to let the opposition know he’s about and now officially one of England’s brightest young things despite the malaise around the national side. A vital player in the Poch-machine at club level and a genuine goal threat, it’s been a very lively start to his top flight career and one we’ve thoroughly enjoyed watching
2016 has been…
…good, there’s been highs and lows but all in, a very decent year.
Last season was somewhat of a breakthrough one for a player everyone was hoping would do well. Some great goals duly followed (that volley against Palace an obvious high point in a season stacked with them) and he looked like a man at home in both the Spurs first team and the Premier League in general. Poch’s high tempo press and all action front two, three, four, five, or even six at times always looked better with Alli bustling around them and on form.
He also proved he was more than happy to mix it with players far more experienced than himself by way of the odd foot left in here, or the exquisitely timed ‘late’ tackle there. Eleven yellow cards, eleven goals, fifteen England caps (to date) and two international goals. You could never say the last two years of Alli’s life have been boring.
We’re going to touch on the summer but England’s Euro 2016 has been done to death so we’ll simply say this; Alli played a lot of football last year and for a club manager who demands an enormous amount of energy. It would be fair to say that this summer, as with most of Spurs’ first team contingent in France, it had taken a toll on what is (lest we forget) a very young player. No matter, we all move on to bigger and brighter things.
Tottenham are addressing last year’s squad issues and don’t look quite as paper-thin these days meaning not as much expectation is being placed upon Alli’s shoulders. He’s still one of the most exciting aspects of watching a game at White Hart Lane (less said about Wembley the better…) and is playing his way into form again after a slower start to this season. The secret’s out and he now has to find ways to play against defenders who have trained all week for him, but he’s getting there. Signs are good and experience in the Champions League will help development longer term too, despite the results.
Lots of reasons to be cheerful then, and we want him to keep that aggression in his game. Internationally England need some bite in midfield and that place in the first eleven could be his for a decade or more if he keeps going. Spurs can rest him now and manage the player to bring out the best rather than nursing tired legs from one game to the next. Alli is exciting, and we’re hoping it stays that way for some time to come.
C+ The summer was a low point with a fairly obvious caveat, just keep doing exactly what you’re doing and things will be fine
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