Only six months since starting for MK Dons in a 5-1 romping of league minnows Yeovil Town, Dele Alli’s spectacular rise has this week seen him bag his first England goal.
The 19-year-old’s astonishing escalation of quality has baffled a number of pundits, but the Englishman is slowly quashing their criticism with every kick of the ball.
After rising through the ranks at MK Dons, Tottenham Hotspur swooped under the radar during this year’s January transfer window to secure Alli’s services.The move went relatively unnoticed and with a discount fee of £5 million, Spurs had snapped up a bargain.
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The midfielder returned to the Stadium:mk for the remainder of the 2014/15 campaign, galvanising the side to a spectacular promotion to the Championship. His superb tally of 16 goals in 44 appearances saw him grab particular recognition as well as showing Spurs fan they had unearthed a gem.
After three years of plying his trade in League One, Alli was then thrown into the battlefields of the Premier League.
In fact, Mauricio Pochettino’s faith in the youngster was to such an extent that he came on as a late substitute on the opening day of the season at Old Trafford. Many thought the relatively unknown playmaker would simply melt away into the reserves, never mind lock horns with Manchester United on his Premier League debut.
However, it was his nimble diving header at Leicester City that really got football supporters standing up and paying attention to his emergence. In fact, since that sunny August fixture, Alli has started all but one of the proceeding nine league fixtures that Tottenham have taken on.
Remarkably, the teenager took just three brief substitute cameos as a Premier League player to establish himself as a regular in football's most fiercely fought league competition - and as a result has since been called up to play for England.
Many conceded that the midfielder had played exceptionally for Tottenham but questioned whether the move was diminishing the prestige of an England call-up - after all, did such short-term form warrant the country’s greatest footballing honour?
Since then, though, Alli has proven the doubters wrong.
After the vast shock at his international selection, Alli’s winning goal against Aston Villa and exemplary display in the North London derby resulted in comparatively minimal uproar upon his selection for the France and Spain fixtures.
With praise coming in from the likes of Thierry Henry and Gary Lineker, supporters are beginning to realise that Alli is England-worthy quality. Despite his age, the playmaker has displayed astonishing composure and finesse at the heart of Spurs’ midfield, spraying passes with unique ease.
Moreover, if the haters needed anymore silencing, Alli produced a superb display in England’s 2-0 victory over France on Tuesday night. Although a minor detail amongst the solemn occasion, Alli’s emphatic 20-yard strike found the net and provided further evidence that he is indeed up to the task.
Although there is no denying Dele Alli’s rapid rise to the England squad and Premier League, there is equally little debating that his recent performances have justified this soar and suppressed the doubters.