By Dominic Toner
Ledley King claims that Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli needs to improve his game as defenders are now aware of his style.
The 20-year-old is enduring a frustrating time this season and has been unable to recapture the top form he showed in the last campaign.
He lit up the Premier League during his debut season in the top flight and was awarded the PFA Young Player of the Year for his standout performances.
Alli was a big reason behind Spurs’ third-placed league finish, but the attacking midfielder has struggled to trouble defences to the same effect this campaign.
Ex-Spurs defender King believes that Alli needs to continue developing his game as defenders will now be prepared to face him and will purposely set-up to keep him quiet.
“I think last season he was a bit of the unknown and I think this season was always going to be more diffiuclt because people now understand his game and his strengths a little bit more now,” King told BBC Radio 5 live. “As a young player you’ve always got to find ways of improving and bringing new things to your game.
“It’s no surprise to me that that it’s a little bit more difficult this season, but he’s still a top top player and he’s still going to have a big impact on the team this season and moving forward.”
Alli burst on to the scene last season with his eye catching displays and was directly involved in 21 goals in 46 appearances across all competitions.
The youngster has already become an important player in England’s senior side and is regarded as one of the best emerging talents in Europe.
He was expected to kick on this season and help Spurs compete for the title, but his dip in form has coincided with the club falling 10 points behind league leaders Chelsea.
Alli has scored four goals in all 21 appearances this season and his last league goal was back on 15 October against West Brom.
The Spurs playmaker will hope to end his goal drought on Sunday as the north London club host Burnley at White Hart Lane.
In other Tottenham news, Stan Collymore has predicted the result for the upcoming match against Burnley.