Former Arsenal midfielder Adrian Clarke told the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast Show for talkSPORT that he expects Tottenham Hotspur’s Dele Alli to be in the first team this time next year.
Clarke suggested that it’s a good deal for Tottenham and one which could benefit them in the long term.
“I think he’s a fantastic player – It really wouldn’t surprise me if this time next year he’s in the Tottenham first team,” said Clarke.
Alli’s success with the League One team this season has seen him net 12 goals with three assists in a very competitive division.
He has the chance to get his teeth stuck into a campaign where the Dons will want to try and get into the Championship before linking up with his new side.
Tottenham Hotspur boss Mauricio Pochettino has shown a recent trend of using younger players in his first team with Nabil Bentaleb, Harry Kane and Ryan Mason all good examples that younger players can find a role in the first team.
Alli’s first challenge is going to be maintain his form with the Dons over the rest of the season.
There’s additional pressure on his shoulders now that he’s a Tottenham player and he’ll have to work hard to shake off any extra criticism.
His next challenge will be grabbing Pochettino’s attention and playing well in the first team in pre-season ahead of next season.
Once he’s achieved that it will be a case of making the most of the opportunities he gets and Clarke feels he can cash in when they come.