Dele Alli is the best young player in the world, Mauricio Pochettino believes.
A bold statement from the bossman indeed The 21-year-old, who joined Tottenham from MK Dons in 2015, scored his first goal in 15 games on Sunday.
This season he has contributed to 15 Premier League goals, scoring six times and providing nine assists.Pochettino said he is always “the most critical” with his players but added: “It is difficult to criticise Dele.”
The Argentine said at his pre match presser ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup tie at Swansea: “When you compare him with all the young players in the world, not only in Europe, I think he is the best.Tell me one better than him, a 21-year-old, all that he achieves. Tell me one. A current player. Maybe you can find similar or better than him?
Pochettino added:”For me he is the best because he is my player too. Maybe I am not objective but for me, he is amazing, all that he is doing.”
Many would argue the case for French duo Kylian Mbappe of PSG & Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembele, who impressed in Barcelona’s Champions League last-16 victory over Chelsea on Wednesday, or perhaps Real Madrid and Spain attacking midfielder Marco Asensio but Pochettino backs his man despite the diving controversies.
Speaking before Saturday’s FA Cup quarter-final away to Swansea, Pochettino added: “From the day that he makes his debut with us, in Tottenham, for me, he is one of the best in the world.He’s a fantastic player. So special player. But that is only my point of view. Maybe it’s not important for the people, it’s not important for the people who criticise him to listen to me because I am only a simple coach.”
It’s refreshing to see Pochettino backing his young star, there is of course an argument for the likes of Dembele and Mbappe but it will also do a lot for Dele to be so publicly backed by his manager considering the barrage of criticism he receives on a weekly basis.
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