Southgate says Pochettino would agree that Tottenham's Dele Alli needs protecting

The Tottenham Hotspur youngster has been called up for England's upcoming fixtures.

England under-21 coach Gareth Southgate has been speaking to the Daily Star about Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Dele Alli’s senior England call-up.

The 19-year-old has been brilliant for Spurs this season, making eight appearances to date, featuring in all but one of his side’s Premier League matches so far and scoring his first goal in the process.

Alli was always expected to make a big splash at White Hart Lane but few expected him to do quite so well so soon and he is already proving to be an integral part of Mauricio Pochettino’s side.

His early performances have now seen him called up to Roy Hodgson’s senior England side having only recently made his debut for the under-21s, but his coach at that level has warned against expecting too much from the outset.

In comments published by the Daily Star, Southgate said, “He has only started three games so we should be cautious in our views of him. In truth it’s a little bit early for him but we like him a lot, we think there’s a lot of potential there.

“There is still a long way and he needs a lot of protection. I think Mauricio Pochettino would agree with that.”

Pochettino may well not want to see too much pressure placed on Alli’s shoulders too soon, but his performances mean there will be a clamour for him to be included in the England squad for Euro 2016 if he continues on his current trajectory.

That said Hodgson will know that patience is the key and with the right development there is every chance Alli could go on to be a key player for both Tottenham and England for the next decade.

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