Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino feels England’s midfield has a bright future with Dele Alli and Eric Dier in the frame as the duo continue to impress.
Spurs, who are preparing to face Fiorentina in the second leg of their Europa League last-32 tie at White Hart Lane on Thursday, are also in the running to win the Premier League as they sit second in the table with 12 matches remaining.
Pochettino’s first team is made up of a host of youthful stars and he himself is a young head coach at the age at 43, with his view being that the likes of Alli and Dier are a perfect representation of the club’s tradition.
On Alli, he told Gazzetta dello Sport: “In August 2014 a scout showed me footage from MK Dons v Manchester United.
“Alli played a great match and we started tracking him, until we finally signed him.”
Pochettino also praised Dier’s adaptation from defender to a central midfield role, saying: “On the first day of training I asked him to try it out.
“He was convinced it would work out and it has. England’s midfield is set thanks to the pairing of Dier and Alli.
“It [our young squad] is something that speaks to the history of this club and the English culture. We have put a long-term project in place, but the presence of some players over the age of 25 balances things out.
“Being young is not enough if you don’t work hard in training. Running and having 90 minutes in your legs is the logical consequence of the work that is put in during the week.”
Pochettino is optimistic over Spurs’ chances against Fiorentina despite the nose injury to star striker Harry Kane that will keep him out of the match, with the tie evenly poised at 1-1.
He said: “We are doing well, even if we could have done without the injuries of Harry Kane, Moussa Dembele and Tom Carroll. Our squad depth means we can deal with the issue.
“Both sides have the same chances of going through. We played better for 65 minutes in the first leg, but they did well in the final 25 minutes.”
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