Recent absence of Spurs-bound youngster shows just how good he is

MK Dons have struggled to cope without Dele Alli, who is on loan from Tottenham until the end of the season.

Dele Alli has been one of League One's best players this year, and it is telling that MK Dons' recent spell of poor form has arrived with him out of the side injured.

The 18-year-old had played every league game this season until his ankle injury against Colchester United in February. He came off midway through the second half in that match having scored what would go on to be the winner 

Since his injury, MK Dons have won just one of their games, a 3-0 victory over struggling Peterborough United, then embarking on a three-game losing streak that saw them slip away from the automatic promotion places.

Without the goals and drive of a player Spurs spent a reported £5 million on in January, per the Mirror, only to loan him back to his hometown club for the rest of the season, the Dons are now battling just to remain in the play-off picture.

The team had only lost six games from 24 with Alli in the side, but with him out of the team they have lost three in just five matches.

Dons boss Karl Robinson compared the absence of Alli, along with his other top players, to Daniel Sturridge's spell out injured at Liverpool earlier this season, before revealing that the Spurs loanee would return to training on the March 17 after a spell rehabilitating at Tottenham.

He told MKWeb: "Looking at the top teams, look at Daniel Struridge returning to Liverpool and the motivation it gives the team.

"They don't even have to be starting, it is something they give the group when they are in the squad.

"Dele is another week closer we were told Dele will be back training on the 17th (March)."

It is impressive to see someone so young have such an influence on his team's play, especially from an attacking midfield position, and it should give Spurs fans plenty of confidence in Alli's ability to make an impact in the Premier League when he finally arrives at White Hart Lane next season.

Register for TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch