Dele Alli
Alli's reputation continues to grow after netting a hat-trick against Crewe.Getty Images/Shaun Botterill

Dele Alli, the Milton Keynes Dons starlet who rejected the chance to join Liverpool, netted a hat-trick against Crewe Alexandra at the weekend to further burnish his reputation - and remind Brendan Rodgers what he missed out on.

The 18-year-old signed a contract until June 2017 in mid-week to commit his immediate future to the StadiumMK club, and marked the new deal with a treble to illuminate a 6-1 win over Crewe which saw Karl Robinson's men jump to second in League One.

Though Robinson has indicated Alli will be allowed to leave MK Dons in the near future, the new contract ensures the club will be able to call on his services for the remainder of this season - even if Liverpool maintain their interest.

Alli has often been compared to Steven Gerrard, such is his willingness to operate at both ends of the pitch, and many seasoned experts believe he could be a long-term replacement for the Liverpool skipper.

Gerrard's form has notably dropped off this season, with the 34-year-old a near passenger for Liverpool as they were defeated 3-1 by West Ham United at Upton Park.

Despite being in the infancy of his career, Alli is unperturbed by the comparisons and says he will continue to mirror his game on Gerrard's.

"Whilst I'm young I'd like to think I make forward runs a lot, getting goals and assists," he said.

"That's what I want to add to my game. I think I can play quite defensive as well. That deep midfield role or a high attacking one. I enjoy playing both.

"He [Gerrard] is a big idol of mine, I've always watched him," Alli said. "Being a Liverpool fan it's great to have someone like that to look up to."

Though speculation regarding Alli's future continues to mount, MK Dons manager Robinson has done nothing to dampen the interest by making his own comparisons with Gerrard.

"He's a scary talent and arguably the best central midfielder in the country for his age," Robinson said.

"We know there's going to be a multi-million pound bid for Dele one day, but it's important he stays where he belongs.

"I see him as a young Steven Gerrard, who had a similar frame and build to him. He needs to learn to score more goals and is getting better at that."