Tottenham Hotspur saw off the interest of many clubs to acquire the services of MK Dons’ highly rated midfielder Dele Alli for a fee in the region of 5m in January. Alli was sent back to MK Dons for the remainder of the season immediately after his signature. He continued to impressed even then and was crowned the Football League Young Player of the Year. Liverpool were one of the interested parties and were linked with the player many times in the past.
Alli has admitted now that he rejected the chance to move to Liverpool some months earlier
. He said, “At the time I didna t feel it was the right move personally, and I wanted to stay at MK a bit longer to get some more first-team experience. I knew if I got more experience by the end of the season that Ia d be ready to move.
a When we were looking at moving I think it was really important that we found a manager who was similar to the gaffer [Karl Robinson]. Someone who has a lot of trust in young players and isna t scared to put them on.
“I can see that in the manager [at Spurs], so ita s a great move for me.”
Back in April, Alli heaped praise on Pochettino and expressed his excitement at having a chance to link up with the Argentinean.
‘That’s the big thing for youngsters,’ he said. ‘When you go, you don’t want a manager that’s not going to have any trust in young players.
‘I think with him you can see already that he has a lot of faith in youngsters and I think as a young player you need that, just for confidence in yourself.
‘You need a manager that believes in you and shows that he believes in you by playing you.’
Alli idolised Liverpool’s departed captain Steven Gerrard when he was young and just like his idol (when Gerrard was young), he too is an “all-action midfielder”. He is a box to box midfielder and he would be hoping the London club offers him a chance at first team football this season.
With Gerrard gone, could Liverpool have got their next talismanic midfielder in Alli? Something only Alli could show in the near future.