Forget Fellaini, it's about a teenage English monster for Liverpool and Arsenal

Marouane Fellaini

Liverpool and Arsenal seem to be going head-to-head for a teenager who could turn out to be better than Marouane Fellaini of Everton.

Remember the name Dele Alli because there is every indication that Liverpool and Arsenal are ready to invest big in the MK Dons midfielder before loaning him back to the League One side.

The 17-year-old is hard to miss when he puts in a good performance because he’s an absolute monster in the middle of the pitch at six feet two inches tall and the bad news for anyone who faces him is that he’s only going to get bigger.

It’s a good spot by Liverpool and Arsenal scouts in a summer where a very similar, although obviously more advanced, player in Marouane Fellaini has been touted around to several top clubs, looking more likely to stay with Everton.

Alli has many similar attributes to Fellaini with his height, his strength, pace and power all taking centre stage and all likely to improve over the next few years as he matures on a physical and professional level.

In terms of which club would be better for his future, both Liverpool and Arsenal have merits and advantages.

Liverpool are showing a clear tendency under the reign of Brendan Rodgers to give youth a chance, to give younger players the experience and benefits of playing in the first team at Anfield.

That is huge because there is no better substitute for a youngster at the highest level than to be thrown in at the deep end.

If they sink then Liverpool are sensible enough to know that a loan deal back to the Football League is the right choice but if those youngsters swim, Rodgers will give them a chance to impress.

The benefit of going to Arsenal is the chance to work with Arsene Wenger, a manager who has developed players like this into better stars for decades.

Wenger gets the balance between exposure and protection perfectly right and that will be important in the decision of Alli, who may be a little bit worried about being too exposed at the highest level.

The short term solution is always Fellaini. Offer Liverpool or Arsenal the choice and they will always snap up the Everton star because he can have more of an immediate impact.

The long term prospect can be more appealing because if Alli is handled and developed in the right way, he can form the spine of a side for several seasons as he matures into his early 20's.

It may come down to who is more willing to make the investment and take the risk but it’s win win for whichever side ends up getting him and we won’t know if he’s got what it takes for top level football until the move happens.

Do you think he’ll end up at Liverpool or Arsenal? Is he a better long term option than Fellaini?

image: © nicksarebi

Register for LIVERPOOL team updates

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch