Tottenham coach Mauricio Pochettino has conceded that he continues to be amazed at what Dele Alli is doing on the pitch for his side.
The England international bagged his 17th goal of the season in the 2-1 win over Southampton at White Hart Lane on Sunday, as Spurs were able to come through despite the absence of talismanic striker Harry Kane due to injury.
Christian Eriksen was also on the mark as Pochettino will hope that his star attackers can all step up and deliver goals in Kane’s spell on the sidelines, but it’s Alli who he lavished with praise after Sunday’s game.
It’s been an incredible rise for the 20-year-old since he arrived in north London from MK Dons, as he now has 14 Premier League goals this season, just five less than Kane, albeit the striker was missing earlier this season due to injury too.
Nevertheless, that shouldn’t take away from what he’s doing for Tottenham and the important role he’s playing for the team, and it clearly hasn’t gone unnoticed by his manager.
“Dele always surprises you. You cannot guess with him,” he is quoted as saying by The Sun.
“He has an unbelievable personality and character. Anything is possible for him. He likes to run to the box and is very offensive.
“He is very clever in the box. In the box he looks like a striker because he is more than clever. He is very smart. Outside the box, he plays like a midfielder.
“I watched him when he was 17-years-old at Milton Keynes as a holding midfielder against Manchester United. He always surprises me. Maybe one day he plays as a goalkeeper, full-back or centre back!”
Alli will need to step up more than ever now as Tottenham will want to keep up their form and avoid risking the possibility of slipping out of the top four.
The international break will give them a chance to get away and then regroup ahead of the final stretch of the season, and Pochettino will be relying on Alli to be a main protagonist in a strong finish to the season.