Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino has some high praise for Dele Alli, insisting that he’s one of the best young players in Europe and describes his personal relationship with him.
The 20-year-old has had a great season so far this year, scoring 16 Premier League goals as he has established himself as one of the most important figures in the Spurs squad.
Some doubters will still point to his disappointments for England and in Europe with Tottenham before getting too carried away over how good he is, but Pochettino is under no doubt about what a special talent he is currently working with.
“I think today, his age and with his stats, I think so. If not he’s the best [young players in Europe], he’s one of the best for sure,” Pochettino told reporters, as noted by ESPN FC.
“He’s special. He’s different from all the players who play now at his age. He’s so experienced. His energy, his character, his quality. He is a unique player.”
Pochettino was also asked to discuss Alli’s temperament, which has had a question mark hanging over it after a series of incidents where he has lost his cool, none more so than in the Europa League tie with Gent earlier this season.
After being sent off in that game at Wembley, Spurs were eliminated from the competition and in turn the England international received plenty of criticism for his role in the result.
However, his coach took the opposite approach with him rather than criticise him too much, and it certainly seems to be paying dividends as Pochettino explained how close a bond he has with Alli having overseen his development over the last two years.
“Of course he is young and needs to improve, but he needs love, not to be punched or punished. I am so happy for him because I knew the relationship from day one was tough. It was friendly, lovely, but tough too because it’s like when you have your son, you love him, but sometimes you have to be tough.”