Dele Alli was one of the breakthrough stars of the 2015-16 Premier League season and deservedly picked up the PFA Young Player of the Year award at the end of the campaign.
The 20-year-old is expected to have another big season this term - former Liverpool star Jamie Redknapp reckons the youngster can even outshine Manchester United’s blockbuster summer signing Paul Pogba - but Premier League fans might notice something a little different about the midfielder this weekend.
Alli will have a different name on the back of his shirt - and he’s explained the reasons why.
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Instead of ‘Alli’, Dele will now wear the name, erm, ‘Dele’ on the back of his jersey.
Same number, though. Alli - sorry, Dele - will remain the team’s No. 20.
Explaining his decision to change shirt numbers, Dele told Tottenham’s official Twitter account: “I wanted a name on my shirt that represented who I am and I feel I have no connection with the Alli surname.
"This is not a decision I have taken without a lot of thought and discussion with family close to me.”
Spurs fans and the club’s manager, Mauricio Pochettino, won’t care a jot what’s on the back of his shirt as long as he’s producing the goods out on the pitch.
Memphis Depay did the same last summer
Dele is not the only player to have his forename on the back of his shirt for personal reasons.
Memphis Depay wears “Memphis” on the back of his United jersey for similar reasons.
"Those things are a part of my life. It is not a part of football. It is a different thing. I have a life next to football,” said Depay, per the Independent, in relation to his father leaving when he was a young boy.
"I have been through little situations. That makes me strong. I enjoy my tattoos, as you can see. I am the person I am. Everybody has to respect that."
Will Dele Alli prove to be the best midfielder in the Premier League this season? Have your say by leaving a comment below.
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