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Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Dele Alli has been urged to rebuff any interest in his services and remain under the stewardship of manager Mauricio Pochettino. The 19-year-old has enjoyed a fine maiden season in the Premier League and it not expected to be long before he sparks interest from big clubs across Europe.
Since his permanent move from Milton Keynes Dons Alli has scored seven goals and made eight assists in 32 starts this season, a level of performance which saw him make his England debut – scoring his first international goal against France last November. Alli is therefore expected to be in contention to be selected in Roy Hodgson's European Championship squad this summer.
An indication as to Alli's value to Tottenham is reflected in the fears regarding his fitness for the north London derby against Arsenal. The England man will undergo late tests to determine his fitness for the game, but his absence would be a huge blow for Pochettino's title chasing squad.
Among the features of Alli's performances have been his no fear attitude this season, despite being in his first full season in the English top flight. Former Tottenham midfielder David Bentley has hailed those performances and believes Pochettino is the right man to nurture the youngster.
"Dele is being loved and being backed," Bentley told The Express. "Pochettino is brilliant and Dele would do well to stay put with him. While Dele has been impressive so far, the best thing is that I know he has a lot more in him. He is showing so much maturity by not playing at his full level. Sadly, that is what you have got to do as a kid. You have to be humble and all this b******s. That, unfortunately, is the English way.
"I got fed up with all that, but he's actually doing it. He's managing his ability. That is a good to see because he has a lot more in the locker. And good for him. He will be one of the very best, provided he is allowed to develop as he wants."
Alli moved to White Hart Lane for £5m in January 2015, according to BBC Sport, before being loaned back to MK Dons to remainder of the season. Ex-Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp believes the player is already worth upwards of £20m and can't believe the likes of Arsenal and Chelsea did not identify his talent.
"It would be interesting to see all the reports on Alli from the so-called good judges who work for the Premier League clubs," he told The Evening Standard in November. "Tottenham paid £5m for him in the end, which is nothing. It is an amazing buy. He's worth at least £20m now if not a lot more. And Spurs had a clear run at signing him. Tottenham stole him for £5m.
"Why didn't Arsenal sign him? Don't tell me Chelsea shouldn't have bought him for £5m. What's £5m to Manchester United, especially with the way they throw their money around now? Okay, Liverpool did show some interest but for, whatever reason, did not follow it through."