Dele Alli lauded as the best young player in the world by Spurs boss Pochettino
Alli ended a 15-game goal drought against Bournemouth.
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino believes Dele Alli is the best young player in the world.
The 21-year-old, who will be expected to lead Spurs in Harry Kane’s absence over the next few weeks, has been criticised for some of his performances this season.
Alli ended a 15-game goal drought when he bagged in the 4-1 win at Bournemouth on Sunday and has been given a glowing endorsement by his boss.
Pochettino says there is no other player in the world at Alli’s age who can match his achievements, a bold statement when you consider the likes of Leroy Sane, Gabriel Jesus, Kylian Mbappe, Ousmane Dembele and Marcus Rashford.
By Jonathan Veal, Press Association Sport 17 March 2018
“When you compare him, Dele Alli, 21 years old, with all the players in the world, not only in Europe, in the world, I think he is the best,” the Argentinean said.
“In his age. In his form. Assists and everything. But, and I don’t understand why, there is still that feeling [to criticise him]. For me, Dele Alli, for his age, is the best. That’s it.
“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.”
While Alli’s displays this season have come under scrutiny from the fans and media, Pochettino insists only his opinion on the player matters.
“We expect more from him? OK, yes, of course. We want always more.
“But from the day that he makes his debut with us, in Tottenham, for me, he is one of the best in the world.
“He’s a fantastic player. So special player. But that is only my point of view. “Maybe it’s not important for the people, it’s not important for the people who criticise him to listen to me because I am only a simple coach.
“But I promise you, I am the most critical person with my players. But it is difficult to criticise Dele.
“The most important for him is us, if we criticise him. If we are not happy with him, that is what is important for him and we never criticise him.”
Whether Pochettino plays Alli in Tottenham’s FA Cup quarter-final at Swansea on Saturday remains to be seen.
The midfielder was suffering with a tight groin after the win at the Vitality Stadium last week but is fit and has been named in England’s squad for friendlies against Holland and Italy.
“He played a lot of games, international games,” Pochettino added. “Now, we will see for Saturday because in the end, he’s going to play for the national team, and they are not machines.”