Saturday 23 September 2017

Birthday boy Dele Alli in focus

At 21 Dele Alli has the world at his feet
At 21 Dele Alli has the world at his feet

Dele Alli turned 21 on Tuesday. The Tottenham midfielder has enjoyed another hugely productive season and is currently the top-scoring midfielder in the country.

Here, Press Association Sport takes a look at the hottest 21-year-old in world football.

STRENGTHS

Alli's eye for goal is an obvious starting point. His last two strikes, a tap-in at Swansea and a long-range curler against Watford, perfectly illustrated the variety of goals he is capable of scoring. Alli has built up a superb understanding with Harry Kane while his versatility - he can play as second striker, out wide or deeper in midfield - is a major plus.

WEAKNESSES

Alli's temperament has been called into question in the past, not least with a careless sending-off against Gent as Spurs crashed out of the Champions League at Wembley in February. But the midfielder has been in spectacular form since that red-mist moment, and seems to have learned to channel his aggression positively for the benefit of Spurs.

END PRODUCT

When Alli curled in the opener to set Spurs on their way to a 4-0 win over Watford on Saturday, it was the England international's 26th Premier League goal of his career and his 16th this season. Amazingly, he was involved in 40 Premier League goals before turning 21 - more than Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard and David Beckham put together.

OVERALL

The £5million Spurs splashed on Alli from MK Dons two years ago is already looking like one of the best deals in Premier League history. Alli has become a hugely influential figure for club and country, and hopefully will continue to do so for many years to come.

Press Association

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