Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino believes Dele Alli was unlucky to miss out on a place on the PFA Player of the Year shortlist.
The 21-year-old was shortlisted for the Young Player of the Year gong, but was not one of the six nominees for the main prize.
Alli has scored 16 times in the Premier League this season and is only one goal behind Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who is one of four strikers shortlisted.
Meanwhile, the Spurs starlet has outscored Chelsea pair Eden Hazard and N’Golo Kante, who are the only two midfielders to make the list.
Kante – who is widely expected to win the award, which is based on player votes – does not base his game on goals and assists, but Hazard totally does.
Therefore, Alli can count himself unlucky to miss out, considering he has contributed 21 goals and assists combined in the Premier League this season – two more than Hazard.
“In my opinion he deserved a place in the shortlist,” Pochettino told BBC Sport.
“After his first season people wanted to him perform again in his second season. He’s not only confirmed that he’s improved in all aspects in his game.
“He’s clever and intelligent. He has the potential to improve and learn. Today he’s shown he’s one of the best players in the Premier League.”