Dele Alli is unique in European football. There are few players with his maturity, skill and potential in the current era and few players achieve what he has at the age of just 21.
It’s easy to forget that Alli only started playing regularly for Tottenham two years ago but that £5 million investment they handed to MK Dons (BBC) could one day be cashed in for a fee somewhere near nine digits.
In two seasons at Spurs, Alli has scored 32 goals, played 21 games for England and evolved into the creative star of one of the most exciting teams in the modern Premier League era.
Therefore, even though Alli hasn’t exactly started the current campaign on fire despite setting up two goals for Harry Kane in Saturday’s 3-2 win at rivals West Ham, Spurs are likely to resist any interest from any club – even if a rival suitor is willing to offer a long-standing Tottenham target in exchange.
Alli for Kovacic?
Don Ballon claims that Real Madrid president Florentino Perez wants to make Alli his first real ‘Galactico’ signing since James Rodriguez in 2014 – and will offer Croatian midfielder Mateo Kovacic to make the deal happen.
Spurs have been targeting Kovacic for a number of months and even had a £22 million bid rejected in the summer, as reported by AS. However, while the 23-year-old is an undoubted talent whose energy and speed in transition could prove a perfect fit under Mauricio Pochettino, he would be hard pushed to replicate the influence of Alli in Spurs’ starting XI.
After all, Kovacic has started just 27 league games in two years and played just 63 minutes of La Liga football in 2017/18. While it would be harsh to criticise a player for failing to break into Real’s first-team, doubts remain about how good Kovacic could actually be.
Meanwhile, if Alli is this good at 21, imagine him in five years.