‘Dele Alli Is The Best Young Player In The World’- Tottenham Boss Pochettino
Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli is the best young player in the world, Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino believes.
The 21-year-old, who joined Tottenham from MK Dons in 2015, scored his first goal in 15 games on Sunday.
This season, his third in the top flight, he has contributed to 15 Premier League goals, scoring six times and providing nine assists.
Pochettino said he is always “the most critical” with his players but added: “It is difficult to criticise Dele.”
The Argentine said: “When you compare him with all the young players in the world, not only in Europe, I think he is the best.
“Tell me one better than him, a 21-year-old, all that he achieves. Tell me one. A current player. Maybe you can find similar or better than him?
“For me he is the best because he is my player too. Maybe I am not objective but for me, he is amazing, all that he is doing.”
It is an assessment that overlooks Kylian Mbappe, the 19-year-old French striker expected to permanently join Paris St-Germain for around £165m this summer.
Another French striker, Ousmane Dembele, impressed in Barcelona’s Champions League last-16 victory over Chelsea on Wednesday, scoring his first goal since joining the Spanish club in August for what could eventually be a £135.5m fee.
And Real Madrid and Spain attacking midfielder Marco Asensio, Manchester United’s England striker Marcus Rashford and Manchester City’s Brazil forward Gabriel Jesus might equally be considered in a discussion on who is the best young player in world football.
Alli, who has played 22 times and scored five goals for England, last season scored 18 Premier League goals, contributing nine assists.
This term he has also been criticised for diving.
After his side’s 1-0 win at Crystal Palace on 28 February – in which he appeared to attempt to simulate contact with keeper Wayne Hennessey but was not punished – Match of the Day 2 pundits Alan Shearer and Jermaine Jenas said he should cut diving out of his game.