Dele Alli
Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli has attracted the attention of Real Madrid AFP/Getty Images

Mauricio Pochettino has revealed that Dele Alli was unhappy at being named on the substitutes' bench for Tottenham's 2-0 win over Brighton at Wembley.

Erik Lamela made his first start for Spurs in more than a year following a serious hip injury as goals from Serge Aurier and Son Heung-min helped the hosts post their third successive win in all competitions.

Real Madrid target Alli was introduced in place of Lamela in the 74th minute, with Pochettino explaining that it was normal that the England international was unhappy at being left out of the starting line-up.

The 21-year-old has started 15 of Tottenham's 17 league games this season, scoring three goals.

"How do players at Arsenal or Liverpool react when they are on the bench?" Pochettino was quoted as saying by Sky Sports. "Dele Alli was on the bench and then played 20 minutes.

"He is so important for us. Of course, players are not happy when they are on the bench, the young and the senior players. [Kieran] Trippier, Ben Davies, the other players all wanted to play. That is football."

Pochettino said he was pleased for Lamela after the Argentine came away unscathed from his first start for Spurs since October last year and added that the winger could play a key role for the club in the second half of the season.

"We're so happy and he's so happy," he told Spurs' official website. "He feels again that he can play from the beginning [of a game]. It's good to feel to that you can play football again, so, so good and I'm sure he's going to help us over the next six months."

Tottenham travel to the Etihad Stadium on 16 December to take on Manchester City, who have won their last 15 league games.

"We are going to enjoy the game, as it is a fantastic challenge to play Manchester City," Pochettino remarked.

"They are the best team in England, and one of the best teams in Europe. I am so excited to play in these games."