LONDON – Tottenham Hotspur boss Mauricio Pochettino says people should remember that midfielder Dele Alli is only 21-years-old, and that while he has failed to reach the heights of last season, he has a bright future ahead for club and country.
Alli has scored only six times in 29 Premier League appearances for Spurs this campaign, and his place in England’s World Cup team is far from certain after playing 22 minutes of two friendlies against the Netherlands and Italy this month.
He scored 18 league goals last season.
But Pochettino said Alli, who was nursing a slight groin problem during the international window, would get all the support he needed to achieve his goals.
“I have full confidence in him and his talent and because I know him – he is a great kid and a very good person,” Pochettino told reporters.
“But he is young. He is 21. If you compare with normal people on the street who are 21, they are still living at home with their parents, they are still at university doing stupid things.
“We are going to help him because he is a talented player and a great kid. And he has done a lot for us and the club.”
Tottenham, currently fourth in the league, are hoping to extend their five-point advantage over fifth-placed Chelsea when the teams meet at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.