SAF: Alli best midfielder since Gazza; Poch agrees

Date published: Friday 1st April 2016 8:50

Sir Alex Ferguson and Mauricio Pochettino agree that Dele Alli is “the best young midfielder” since Paul Gascoigne.

Alli has enjoyed a remarkable breakthrough season in the Premier League, scoring seven goals and assisting a further nine in 29 games as Tottenham look to win their first top-flight title since 1961.

The 19-year-old only signed for Spurs from Milton Keynes Dons in January, but spent the last half of last season on loan in League One, before joining up with Pochettino’s side in the summer.

The midfielder has also become an integral part of the England squad in the build-up to the 2016 European Championship.

Former Manchester United manager Ferguson has likened the young midfielder to Paul Gascoigne.

“He is probably the best young midfielder I have seen in many years,” said Ferguson. “Probably going back as far as Gascoigne.”

Pochettino concurred: “It’s very good praise from one of the best managers in football history. I can only agree with him.

The Spurs manager added: “You can see the whole season how he has managed the pressure. He is very calm, very mature. He has managed the pressure and the popularity and to be a senior player and play for the national team. He is very calm. He is one of the best young players I have worked with.

“There is always a question mark with a young player. You can assess his left and right foot, his performance on the pitch and in training. But how a young player can be affected for the big things that happen in football, being a senior player, being in the national team, this is always a question mark.

“You can be aware and behind him to try to support him, but I think that it has surprised us how he has shown maturity. He is very calm and quiet after all that happened to him and that has changed his life, in the same way that when he arrived here one year ago.

“We don’t set any limits on any players. We always try to provide them with the tools to improve and then always it’s up to them. In this way, it (Alli’s rise) has not surprised us because the quality and condition were unbelievable and are unbelievable, and the potential is massive.

“Then, how they develop in the time is always up to the player. Some players show maturity like him and develop quicker than another. It doesn’t mean Dele Alli has more potential than other younger players, but maybe another younger player needs more time to develop his quality on the pitch.”


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