By Tottenham correspondent Tony Hughes
Steven Gerrard has given Dele Alli a ringing endorsement by claiming the Tottenham sensation is a better player than he was at the same age.
Alli, 19, has had an eyecatching debut season in the Premier League and celebrated his full England debut with a magnificent goal against France last week.
Asked if the central midfielder was the ‘next Gerrard’, the Liverpool legend told BT Sport Europe on Thursday night: “I hope so, that’s very flattering for me. For me he looks to be a little more ahead of me as far as England’s games and appearances are concerned.
“He’s got more experience because he came through at MK Dons, that helped him progress and make the impact that he has done at Tottenham.
“He’s a very exciting player. We’ll have to wait and see how his career turns out but he’s certainly got all the potential and the tools to become a top player domestically but also in Europe as well.”
The LA Galaxy man, now 35, is frustrated that Liverpool were beaten to the signing of Alli earlier this year by Spurs.
As reported by Football Insider, the Merseysiders were hot on the trail of the young midfielder before they allowed him to slip through the net and move to White Hart Lane.
“I was actually disappointed Liverpool didn’t sign him,” Gerrard added on BT Sport. “I thought he was certainly a player Liverpool might have tried to go for, especially with me coming toward the end.
“He’s a player I could see playing for Liverpool for 10-15 years, he’s certainly got that ability.”
By the time Gerrard reached his 20th birthday, he had made 44 appearances for Liverpool in all competitions, scoring just once.
Dele Alli has made 18 appearances for Tottenham so far, netting twice, but doesn’t turn 20 until April 11 next year.
Gerrard did not make his England debut until a day after his 20th birthday, while Alli made his last month at his current age of 19.