Danny Murphy delivers verdict on Tottenham midfielder, identifies biggest quality
By Harvey Byrne
Danny Murphy believes that Dele Alli is playing with a maturity beyond his years at Tottenham and has stated that the midfielder’s positional sense is his biggest quality.
The 20-year-old has become a huge star in north London after making a £5million move from League One side MK Dons in the 2015 winter window.
The young starlet was named in the PFA Team of the Year for the last campaign, while also being named the PFA Young Player of the Year.
He has continued his impressive form into this season and he has 11 goals and four assists from his 26 encounters.
Seven of those goals have came in his last four appearances for the club and Murphy was full of praise for the emerging star.
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“First of all, he’s playing with a maturity beyond his years,” told Murphy to the official club website. “I remember when I first went to Liverpool, it took me a couple of seasons to really settle in. He’s taken it all in his stride. In terms of his ability, he’s a super athlete, tall, quick, looks like he can run all day but matched with that, technically he’s very good as well.
“His biggest quality on the pitch, for me, is the timing of his runs. He is exceptional at that and that is what gets him into the positions to score the goals. He knows when to go and he finds space, that’s his biggest quality.
“He’s ahead of his time in terms of football maturity and game intelligence. It’s not something you see, it’s something he’s got. Everything else you see with your eyes, if that makes sense, so you might go and ask 10 fans ‘what is Dele’s biggest quality’ and you’ll get different answers – his pace, his running, his finishing – but that maturity is something that you know when you’ve played. You are watching him and you think ‘he’s got no fear’. He’s playing with the confidence you normally only get after playing 100 or 200 games, not after five minutes of being in the Premier League!
“He now has to make sure that he continues to learn from the coaches at Spurs – he’s clearly learned a lot from Mauricio Pochettino – and he needs to maintain his discipline and desire. There is no end to how far he can go with his ability.”
Alli has made a total of 72 appearances for the north London club with a return of 21 goals and 15 assists.
He has established himself as a key man in the Tottenham line-up as well as the England national side at his early age and has been a big part of Spurs’ recent success.
Alli’s two goals proved decisive in his side’s 2-0 victory over Chelsea in their last league meeting, moving Mauricio Pochettino’s side within seven points of the league leaders.
He will now be keen to help Tottenham maintain their current pace and potentially cause problems to Antonio Conte’s side.
In other Tottenham news, this ex-Spurs recruitment guru has explained why this player was the perfect signing.