Alli's rapid rise an EPL success story

November 21, 2015
Tottenham's Dele Alli, right, puts the ball past Leicester's Kasper Schmeichel to score against Leicester during the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur at the King Power Stadium, Leicester, England, on Saturday, August 22. (AP Photo)

MANCHESTER (AP):

It was difficult to make any sporting conclusions from Tuesday's emotionally charged friendly between England and France, four days after the Paris attacks that killed at least 129 people.

Yet, even in the circumstances, it was hard to ignore the performance of goalscoring England midfielder Dele Alli, who many are saying could be the next big thing in the English Premier League.

Alli an all-action, box-to-box, 19-year-old midfielder has been one of the success stories of the season in England, and is being compared by some to former Liverpool star Steven Gerrard.

It's a rapid rise for a player who was playing in England's third tier for MK Dons as recently as May, and started this season on the bench for new club Tottenham.

Now, Alli is a regular starter for Spurs and seemingly assured of his place in England's squad after scoring a long-range opener in the 2-0 win over France and being named man of the match.

"It's been a crazy start to the season," Alli said. "It's all happened really quickly."

Playing under manager Mauricio Pochettino at Tottenham will only help his development. Pochettino is always keen to give chances to English youngsters, demonstrating that during his time at Southampton and now at Spurs, where Eric Dier, Ryan Mason, and Harry Kane are also young and important members of the squad.

Alli has started the last eight games for Tottenham and the team hasn't lost, helping it climb to fifth in the standings ahead of Sunday's home match against West Ham.

Alli's rise from nowhere mirrors that of Kane last season, with the striker a regular for club and country after scoring 32 goals in the 2014-15 campaign.

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