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20th Mar, 2017 | 10:00am

Pochettino delivers hilarious verdict on Dele Alli display v Southampton

By Matt Farr

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has sung the praises of midfielder Dele Alli following the win over Southampton on Sunday – and joked that he’s so versatile he could play in goal.

Alli scored from the penalty spot as Tottenham beat the visitors 2-1, but Pochettino was delighted with his all-round display.

Speaking to the Sun, the Tottenham chief admitted that the 20-year-old was full of surprises, and that anything is possible for him.

His strike against Southampton was his 17th goal in all competitions this season, and his fourth in as many games. He has also supplied eight assists.

But Pochettino joked that Alli could also succeed as a goalkeeper or a centre-back, as he paid tribute to the midfielder’s ability to fill several positions.

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He said: “Dele always surprises you. You cannot guess with him. He has an unbelievable personality and character. Anything is possible for him. He likes to run to the box and is very offensive.

“He is very clever in the box. In the box he looks like a striker because he is more than clever. He is very smart. Outside the box, he plays like a midfielder.

“Maybe one day he plays as a goalkeeper, full-back or centre-back!”

Alli has been one of the top performers in the Premier League and Europe this season, helping Tottenham towards a top four finish.

The north London club sit second in the league thanks to their win over Southampton, ten points behind leaders Chelsea, and two points clear of Manchester City in third.

Meanwhile, they are nine points clear of chief rivals Arsenal, who have fallen to sixth after a fourth defeat in five league games.

But Alli appears to have hit golden form at just the right time for Tottenham, with hitman Harry Kane sidelined with an ankle injury.

There are fears among Tottenham supporters that the club will struggle in Kane’s absence, but the presence of Alli as a goalscoring midfielder will leave them reasonably reassured.

In other Tottenham news, Graeme Souness believes Spurs could finish outside the top four because of this reason.

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