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Spurs midfielder Alli: My success is built on lack of fear

Spurs midfielder Dele Alli spoke to ITV's Gabriel Clarke about why he's become one of England's brightest stars.

Alli, who began his career at MK Dons, the key to his progression is a lack of fear which he had as a youth.

Pochettino: Dele Alli's so good he could go in goal

Dele Alli started as a second striker before leading the line when Son Heung-min went off injured. Credit: PA

Mauricio Pochettino joked that Dele Alli could probably play in goal after Tottenham's young midfielder proved adept in an unfamiliar striker role.

The midfielder filled in for his England colleague Harry Kane and scored in Sunday's 2-1 win over Southampton.

Alli began the game as a second striker before leading the line after Son Heung-min was substituted.

It means the 20-year-old has now played central midfield, left and centre of an attacking three and up front for Pochettino.

"Dele Alli always can surprise and you can't guess with him. He has an unbelievable personality and character and it is all possible with him," the Spurs boss said.

"In the box he looks like a striker because he is more than clever, he has made his mark. Outside the box playing like a midfielder, I saw him at 17 years old playing at Milton Keynes as a holding midfielder against Manchester United.

"And I don't know, always he can surprise me, maybe one day he can play as a goalkeeper or as a full-back or centre-back."

Spurs midfielder Alli hoping to be England 'entertainer'

Alli scored in Gareth Southgate's first match as England manager. Credit: PA

Dele Alli hopes he can become England's entertainer under Gareth Southgate.

The Tottenham midfielder was restored to the starting XI against Malta by the newly-installed interim manager and repaid that faith with his first competitive goal in a 2-0 win at Wembley.

The 20-year-old could not add to his tally as the visitors, ranked 176th in the world, held on in a second-half stalemate but enjoyed his time in the number 10 role.

He has not always been trusted in that position in his brief international career but could establish himself as a key creative force during Southgate's four-game stint.

The former Middlesbrough manager has said he wants his England team to be a brave and dynamic one and Alli appears to fit the bill.

He said:

(Can I be) the entertainer? I hope so.

I like to enjoy the game and to have fun and express myself as much as I can. That's the kind of thing that Gareth was saying to us before the game. So it suited me well. Obviously I'm happy to get the goal and maybe I could have got a few more.

I just enjoyed every minute of it. I've always been looking to get goals and assists and to do that I need to be higher up the pitch. I missed a few chances but I'll put that behind me and keep on improving."

– England and Spurs midfielder Dele Alli


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