Dele Alli is facing retrospective punishment after he lashed out at Claudio Yacob during Tottenham’s 1-1 draw against West Brom.
The Young Player of the Year punched the Baggies midfielder as the two collided in the first-half.
It was an ugly incident - and proves that the 20-year-old has some maturing to do - and reminded Jamie Carragher of another former England prodigy.
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The Sky Sports pundit likened Alli to a young Wayne Rooney after his temper tantrum. Rooney let his competitive spirit occasionally leak into aggressive outbursts during the early years of his career, and Carragher reckons Alli is capable of such acts.
The Tottenham star was provoked into a reaction by Yacob and is almost certain to receive a ban that could end his season. Mike Dean missed the incident but the evidence against Alli doesn’t look promising for the midfielder.
Carragher said, per the Mirror: “These were the type of situations Wayne Rooney was involved in earlier in his career. A firebrand, who wanted to be involved and be very competitive.
"That's what Alli's like. Tonight, that match is going to be a massive learning curve for him.
“Situations like that, especially next season with Spurs in the Champions League, foreign referees, he's going to be in situations with people winding him up."
Alli punches Yacob
Rooney's infamous red vs. Portugal
Rooney was infamously sent off for England against Portugal at the 2006 World Cup.
The Manchester United man was only 20-years-old when he arrived in Germany as England’s leading man. But he became the villain when he kicked out at Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo in the quarter-final, earning a red card as Sven-Goran Eriksson’s team crashed out on penalties.
Then there was the reckless tackle on Montenegro’s Miodrag Dzudovic in Euro 2012 qualification, for which Rooney was given a red card and a three-game ban, forcing him to miss the entire group stage.
What’s perhaps most concerning is the fact that Monday’s game wasn’t the first time the former MK Dons man has lashed out at an opponent this season.
Carragher continued: “He’s been involved in these things now and again. There was the Europa League game against Fiorentina earlier this season [he kicked out at Nenad Tomovic].
“You like the fact that he's got something about him.
“From the start of the game Yacob wound Alli up. Alli wasn't too happy about a challenge early on, so right from the start he fell into a bit of a trap.
“People will try and wind him up because they know he's got a bit of a short temper.”
You hope that Rooney has a quiet word with Alli when the two next meet up for international duty ahead of this summer’s European Championship.
Does Alli's competitive spirit aid his performance? Have your say in the comments section below!
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