By Dominic Toner
Ledley King claims that Tottenham starlet Dele Alli is being targeted by the opposition in matches because of his quality.
The 20-year-old has emerged as one of the best young talents in Europe and has been a standout performer for Spurs this season.
The attacking midfielder has made 34 appearances across all competitions, scoring 13 goals and supplying six assists.
He swooped the PFA Young Player of the Year last season and has been a sensation since he moved to White Hart Lane from MK Dons in 2015.
Ex-Spurs captain King believes that opponents are now targeting Alli as they try to nullify his threat.
“People will have looked at his record and will have targeted him in terms of trying to get around him, frustrate him and rile him,” King told the Evening Standard. “There will be games where he does get frustrated — as we all do — but he is still young and is learning to deal with the pressures of being a top player in the Premier League.”
Alli has played in an advanced role this season under Mauricio Pochettino and linked up well with team-mate Harry Kane.
The pair are set to start on Thursday night as Spurs try to overturn a 1-0 deficit in the Europa League round of 32 second-leg against Gent.
Alli is currently experiencing a mini goal drought and has not found the net since 21 January against Manchester City.
He will be keen to end that record against Gent as Spurs aim to achieve success in Europe.
Pochettino’s side are also still trying to challenge Chelsea for the Premier League title, while they face Millwall in the FA Cup quarter-finals.