Martin Keown offers verdict on Dele Alli, raves about Tottenham star Eric Dier

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Martin Keown has praised Spurs duo Dele Alli and Eric Dier.

Former Arsenal centre back Martin Keown has told the Daily Mail that Dele Alli's emergence has been 'quite staggering', whilst he also heaped praise on Eric Dier.

Tottenham duo Alli and Dier have struck up a superb partnership in central midfield this season, and their performances have been rewarded with international call-ups to the England squad.

Some fans and pundits were sceptical over the call-ups, suggesting that neither had done enough to play for England yet, but those opinions were quickly shot down.

Alli smashed home a sensational long range strike in England's 2-0 win over France on Tuesday, whilst Dier offered great protection for the back four, as the Spurs pair cemented themselves in Roy Hodgson's thoughts ahead of Euro 2016.

It's been a remarkable rise for Alli, who was playing for Milton Keynes Dons just over six months ago, but the 19-year-old has made a seamless transition to Premier League football, and former Arsenal defender Martin Keown has given his opinion on Alli, whilst speaking to the Daily Mail.

"He was hugely impressive on Tuesday night and now everybody wants to watch the Tottenham midfield," said Keown. "He has a long way to go and a lot to learn but I’m excited about the role he has to play with England. At Tottenham he doesn’t come back as far as Eric Dier but he works just as hard all over the pitch.""

"Watching him on Tuesday night, it made me wonder how many more little gems are out there across the lower leagues. He was outstanding at MK Dons but fair play to Tottenham for going out and getting him.  Alli's emergence is quite staggering but it shows the benefit of playing regularly and being given great self-belief by your manager."

Keown also raved about the performance of Dier, and praised Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino for his decision to move Dier from defence in to holding midfield this season, stating that his clear plan has helped the youngster develop at White Hart Lane.

"All the talk was about Dele Alli but I have been quietly impressed by his Tottenham team-mate Eric Dier all season. He is a really interesting young player. Mauricio Pochettino had a clear plan with Dier. It was not a random choice to put him in midfield - he has been playing there since the start of pre-season. I saw him play there against Reading in the summer and he wasn’t immediately eye-catching. But he has grown into that role so well and that has not happened by accident."

"Pochettino has worked on that plan and now Tottenham look a much better team with Dier there. He plays everything nice and simple and he reacts to danger very well. He has good pace and he is excellent at slowing down the opposition to make sure his team can get back in numbers. He provides Tottenham with a good balance and did the same thing for England," he added.

Do you agree with Keown's comments on Alli and Dier?

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