Alli is in the England squad on the back of three Premier League starts and five months after he was playing in League One. The signs are he has the temperament and talent to go to the very top
In his first newspaper interview as a Tottenham Hotspur player, Dele Alli said “unreal” and “surreal” on a number of occasions. Then again, he was speaking after making his first start for the club, in the showpiece friendly against Real Madrid at Bayern Munich’s Allianz Arena, in front of 70,000 fans and, 24 minutes in, he had nutmegged Luka Modric.
Alli said that he and Real’s superstar midfielder had “had a laugh about it in the tunnel afterwards”. Modric, according to Alli, had called him a “little bugger – or something like that”. It was an episode to raise a few smiles but one that highlighted, at a stroke, Alli’s talent and confidence, and how far he had come. At the end of last season, he was playing for MK Dons in League One.
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