Ashley Young has labelled Dele Alli “a fantastic talent” and has urged the Tottenham attacker to retain his on-field aggression for club and country.
Alli and Young were involved in altercation when Manchester United beat Spurs 1-0 at Old Trafford earlier in the season – it wasn’t the first time Alli has squared up to an opponent, regardless of age and reputation.
Both players are in the England squad for this summer’s World Cup finals in Russia. Young will be competing with Tottenham’s Danny Rose for the left wing-back spot, while Alli will be hoping to play in one of the attacking positions behind captain Harry Kane.
And Young says Alli should continue winding up his opponents if it helps his game.
“A lot of people say that he’s got to take it out of his game,” Young told FourFourTwo. “But he’s one of them that plays on the edge. Winds people up. That’s just him. He’s a fantastic talent.
“And for me, to have him in the squad is unbelievable. He’s shown, for me, in previous get-togethers and in the last few days what a talent he can be and what a talent he is.”
Alli was left out of the England starting line-up in the last round of international friendlies, putting his place in the World Cup team in doubt.
But the 22-year-old responded by scoring twice against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in his next outing and finishing the season strongly with Spurs.
All things considered, Alli really should be in the starting line-up at the World Cup.