The important lesson Dele Alli has already taught Mauricio Pochettino

Pochettino

The Tottenham Hotspur youngster has forced the Argentine to curb some of his more pedestrian instincts.

If you have the talent to start in the Premier League, age is simply no longer a factor.

Such is the talent on show these days, a 19-year-old can be as effective as a 29-year-old - and will be far more fearless, too.

A big example on Sunday afternoon (and previously against Liverpool) is Anthony Martial at Manchester United. And arguably a bigger example is Tottenham's Dele Alli.

Many are already tipping him to enjoy a fine career and the teenager's start to life at White Hart Lane has been superb. But Alli's biggest contribution has been that of teaching his manager an important lesson, believe it or not.

Indeed, Mauricio Pochettino didn't start Harry Kane regularly in the Premier League until November last season. Whether he likes it or not, the Argentine more than likely cost Tottenham points by not doing so earlier. There were plenty of chances to play Kane, with him already having scored in abundance.

This season, though, an even younger Alli is already a first-team regular despite it only being September. He has been helped by injuries to competitors, of course, but the pedestrian Pochettino that was too afraid to start Kane would surely not have allowed the 19-year-old into the Spurs squad this time last year.

There were even times a few weeks back when Alli, bursting with both form and energy, would have been the perfect antidote to some of Tottenham's poorer displays. Pochettino appeared reluctant - and has since also emphasised the need to protect him.

But, with his confident approach and by letting his football do the talking, Alli has taught the Spurs boss that age is nothing but a number.

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