Sunday 17 December 2017

Is Dele Alli world class?

By Max McLean

The midfielder has been central to Tottenham’s success, and he’s still just 20 years of age.

The term “world class” can be difficult to define, but most agree there aren’t as many top footballers in the Premier League as there used to be.

More specifically, is there a world-class English footballer about at the moment? Dele Alli might have something to say about that.

The Tottenham midfielder, who joined Spurs for £5 million back in January 2015, is a central figure in a side challenging for the Premier League title.

And after another beautiful goal, this time in a 4-0 win against Watford, his name will once again be in the headlines.

The goal takes him to 20 for the season, and 16 in the league – from a midfield position, that’s Frank Lampard territory.

But is he world class?

The former MK Dons star has played 46 games so far this season, showing the sort of consistency of fitness that players like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo demonstrate – he’s also earned 17 England caps in total, at just 20 years of age.

Alli’s debut season saw him notch 10 league goals for the north London side, as Spurs fell short in the title race that saw Leicester triumph.

Who could disagree that Alli’s value is around £50 million? With such a long career ahead of him, he’s going to be costly.

“An outrageous talent,” says Darren Fletcher. Does that translate to “world class”?

Perhaps the one thing that counts against Alli is a lack of trophies…

…but with Tottenham in the FA Cup semi-finals and still in the Premier League title race, that could all change very soon.

Press Association

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