Jermaine Jenas has said that Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Dele Alli deserved his applause against West Ham United despite not having his best game, the BBC reports.
The former MK Dons midfielder has been one of the breakthrough stars of the Premier League this season, performing superbly and earning international recognition with England.
This time last week, he was among the main talking points within the footballing community after breaking his international duck with a fabulous effort during England’s 2-0 win over France.
Against West Ham on Sunday, Alli’s level dropped quite significantly but Jenas believes that is part and parcel of a young player and states his positive reception was fully deserved nonetheless.
"Today hasn't been Dele Alli's greatest game and he knows that, but he will learn from this. And he deserves the applause for everything he's done so far this season,” Jenas said on BBC Five Live. “He's clearly going to be a big part of Mauricio Pochettino's plans here."
Alli was drafted in to the Spurs team earlier in the season following injuries to the likes of Ryan Mason and Nabil Bentaleb, two players who were cast as first-team regulars last season.
The 19-year-old’s impact has been telling, with two goals and one assist in nine Premier League starts.
With Eric Dier positioned alongside him, the two young England midfielders have struck up a superb partnership possessing plenty of strength, drive, bite and much-needed energy.
Alli has all the attributes needed to go on and become a firm favourite at White Hart Lane, and with so much potential the Spurs supporters are now only witnessing a fraction of what is to come.