It’s late April, and in the Barclays Premier League that means most clubs are forgetting about the season and a few are still fighting for the throne, but it’s not just a time to focus on the clubs as a whole; it’s also a time to acknowledge individual players’ efforts, mainly to figure out who is worthy of receiving the honor of PFA Player of the Year. While that honor rightfully went to Leicester City hero Riyad Mahrez, the PFA Young Player of the Year award was given to Spurs midfielder Dele Alli.
Dele Alli, like it or not, thoroughly deserved the award; he played consistently all year, and his club are currently fighting Leicester for the Premier League title, albeit a losing battle. Regardless if they win the league or not, Dele has put up great numbers for a teenager in his first season in English top flight, and that’s pretty much all you need to know. Well, not really.
During the final hours of last year’s winter transfer window MK Dons midfielder Dele Alli was bought by Tottenham Hotspur for a steal at just £5m ($7.2m) but continued to play with MK Dons for the remainder of the season, one that saw them earning promotion to the Championship, a tier one step below the Premier League. Dele also managed to win the ’14/’15 Football League Young Player of the Year after racking up 16 goals, an incredibly impressive stat line for a kid who’d just had his 19th birthday.
The last few seasons Dele has been in great form, swiftly increasing his goal output and catching the eye of scouts for some of the biggest clubs in the world. Scoring 10 goals and creating even more (12), Alli is proving on the pitch that the awards he’s collected so far are warranted and much-deserved; his offensive creativity and ability to score stunning goals has inspired both his club and country. Tottenham have been chasing Leicester City all year, but it’s easy to see the impact Dele Alli has had on that difficult race; Leicester refuse to drop points, but Tottenham have one of the best offenses in England, scoring more goals than everyone except Manchester City, who sit 4 points behind, and Alli’s 22 goals created amount to more than a third of Tottenham’s total so far (64).
Now that he’s been awarded the 2016 PFA Young Player of the Year, his status as a young star cannot be questioned. He’s young, and there’s going to be more pressure from now on, but Delle Alli will be able to manage it; he’s so chill and humble, he probably doesn’t believe the hype himself. You might think that instant success and fame would go to a young starlet’s head, but he doesn’t even think he deserves the honor he’s won.
Young Dele has even taken to Snapchat to make fun of himself, using Tottenham’s official account to joke about his own missed goal that is arguably one of the worst you’ll ever see. Other than that fluke, this talented midfielder has had a stellar season, one that was even better than the last, and he’s collected more personal silverware in two years than most clubs have in a decade; he’s even been heavily involved in teams that made legitimate runs for their respective league titles! Tottenham have one of the best teams in Europe, and they are a very young side, one that if kept together will be a top four team for years to come, a welcome change for Tottenham fans that are so used to being stuck below Arsenal year after year.
Year after year they’ve suffered. Year after year, Dele’s made waves.
Spurs, I think it’s time you join this young star on the journey to more success.