Speaking to Sport360.com, Andy Gray has heaped praise on young Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Dele Alli, noting that his "nastiness" has played a role in his meteoric rise to prominence for club and country.
The 19-year-old has emerged as one of Europe's finest young talents in a breakthrough season which has yielded seven goals and 12 assists in all competitions - and a couple of England caps.
His development has certainly impressed former Everton and Aston Villa striker Gray, who claims that Alli - a £5 million signing from MK Dons in February 2015 (BBC) - can reach an unprecedented standard if he continues to devleop in the same swift manner.
Despite his age, Alli is also something of a physical specimen and certainly does not seem a player who shirks the ugly side of the game, and Gray feels that such a gritty attitude has played a part in his success for Spurs this season.
"Alli has obviously had a terrific season, and what it does go to prove is more clubs should take chances with young English talent and put them in the team," Gray said on Sport360.com.
"He’s been a terrific asset to Tottenham. He seems to have a good personality but has also got a bit of nastiness about him; he’s not a nice boy in that he can look after himself on the pitch.
"But as a footballer, he does the simple things. He doesn’t overcomplicate things, he knows what he’s good at. If he continues to progress the way he has done over the last 18 months there’s very little this kid won’t be able to do, or achieve."
What a season it would be for Alli if he can lift the Premier League title at the end of it, but Spurs sit seven points behind leaders Leicester City with six games to go.
However, he will almost certainly be travelling to France this summer to represent England at Euro 2016.