Dele Alli punches Claudio Yacob off the ball

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Last night, Dele Alli hit headlines after being named as PFA Young Player of the Year.

But tonight, he will hit headlines for punching Claudio Yacob.

The 20-year-old has had a magnificent campaign for Spurs and fully deserved the incredible accolade at the PFA Award ceremony. But there is no doubt that the midfielder has a ‘nasty’ side to his game.


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That’s not necessarily a bad thing.

The likes of Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerrard have used their aggression to their advantage in the past and Alli will need to follow their example if he wants to fulfil his potential.

During the first-half of Spurs’ Premier League clash with West Brom, the former MK Dons midfielder inexplicably turned around and needlessly punched his opponent off the ball.

It’s clear the referee didn’t see it or else Alli would have been dismissed - but that doesn’t mean he won’t receive retrospective punishment. If the Premier League do punish Alli, it could mean that his season is over. He would likely be issued with a three-match ban and Tottenham only have three matches remaining.

Title over?

The incident compounded a miserable night for Spurs.

Their 1-1 draw at home to West Brom left them seven points behind Leicester with just three matches remaining. The Foxes know that victory at Old Trafford on Sunday would see them complete the incredible.

If Leicester don't overcome United, Spurs will need to beat Chelsea to keep their faint title hopes alive. But it's likely they will have to do it without their influential youngster.

On the same night that fellow England international Jamie Vardy was given an additional one-match ban retrospective ban for his reaction toward referee Jon Moss, Alli could be dealt with a similar punishment.

Carragher's comments

Following the match, Jamie Carragher discussed the punch in the Monday Night Football studio.

"From the start he (Yacob) had wound him up. Right from the start – maybe he has fallen into a trap," Carragher said.

"Fair play to Yacob he carries on but he's very fortunate the referee hasn't spotted it.

"That's going to be a massive learning curve for him. Situations like that, he's going to be in similar situations in the Champions League next season," he added.

Previous misdemeanour

Of course, it's not the first time Alli has been involved with a nasty off-the-ball incident. Earlier this season, he appeared to kick Fiorentina's Nenad Tomovic during a Europa League match in February but got away with just a yellow card.

Should Alli be banned for three matches for his punch? Let us know in the comments box below!

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England Football
Robbie Keane
Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur

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