Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli is the world’s best player for his age, according to manager Mauricio Pochettino.
Alli, 21, has been named the PFA Young Player of the Year in the past two seasons and is enjoying another good campaign for Spurs.
The England international has scored six goals and provided nine assists – the most of any Spurs player – in the Premier League this season.
Pochettino was full of praise for Alli – who turns 22 next month – and said he found criticism of the midfielder hard to understand.
“When you compare Dele Alli, 21 years old, with all the players in the world – not only in Europe, in the world – I think he is the best,” he told UK newspapers.
“In his age. In his form. Assists and everything. But, and I don’t understand why, there is still that feeling [to criticise him].
“Tell me one 21-year-old that is better than him, and all that he achieves. Maybe you can find similar. But better than him? Maybe I am not objective because he is my player but, for me, he is amazing.”
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) March 14, 2018
Manchester City star Leroy Sane, the 22-year-old who has scored eight and assisted 11 in the Premier League this season, is the favourite to win the Young Player of the Year prize this campaign.
While Pochettino wants even more from Alli, he hailed the midfielder’s development since arriving at the club in 2015.
“We expect more from him? Yes, of course. But from the day that he made his debut with us he has made himself one of the best in the world,” he said.
“Maybe it’s not important for the people who criticise him to listen to me because I am only a simple coach. But I promise you, I am the most critical person with my players. It is difficult to criticise Dele.”
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