Alli staying grounded despite England excellence

Date published: Wednesday 18th November 2015 3:41

Dele Alli

Dele Alli insists he still has a lot of learning and developing to do despite an excellent performance on his full debut for England.

Just six and a half months on from helping home-town club MK Dons out of League One, the 19-year-old has established himself at Tottenham and now put himself in the frame for a place in England’s Euro 2016 squad for next summer.

As impressive off the ball as he was on it, the midfielder’s first international start at Wembley brought with it a memorable goal as he took aim from 25 yards and beat club team-mate Hugo Lloris as half-time approached.

Alli then started the move finished by Wayne Rooney to wrap up a 2-0 win on a night when England stood shoulder-to-shoulder with France just days after 129 people were killed in the Paris terror attacks.

However, when the subject of Euro 2016 was broached after the game, Alli said: “I am not going to look too far forward – I’ve still got a lot to learn.

“I am just going to go back to my club and keep doing as well as I can and whatever happens, happens.”

Alli remains “grateful even to get the call up” and plans to frame Tuesday’s matchday shirt after his England team-mates all signed it.

He was not the only Tottenham midfielder to be handed his first start against France, though, with Eric Dier’s transformation from defender to accomplished defensive midfielder rewarded by Hodgson.

“He is obviously a great player and it makes it a lot easier when you know you’ve got that security behind you,” Alli said.

“I put a lot of trust into him and he puts a lot of trust into me.

“It’s a bit of a funny relationship, but he’s a great guy and I couldn’t think of anyone better to play with.”

Alli admits it has been “a bit of a crazy start” to the season for Dier and himself, and was quick to thank Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino for giving them a chance at White Hart Lane.

“I think it’s a great thing for the manager, you know? He puts a lot of trust into youngsters and I think it shows,” he said.

“We’re all playing well at the minute at Tottenham and we’re just going to keep focused and keep trying to improve.”

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