15 Oct 2015

Better than Can? Redknapp hails 'sensational' £10m powerhouse who rejected 'Liverpool' transfer because it 'wasn't right'

Throughout 2014, Liverpool were repeatedly linked with England U21 midfielder Dele Alli, who ultimately rejected Anfield to sign for Spurs. At one point, Reds boss Brendan Rodgers made a personal scouting trip to watch Alli, and according to ex-Red Jamie Redknapp, Alli is one of the rising stars of the Premier League.

Speaking to Sky Sports this week, Redknapp hailed £10m-rated Alli as a very, very good player', and explained why he's a 'great' signing for Spurs:

"He [Alli] has great pace, nice touch, and he's a good passer. He gets around the pitch and it's effortless for him. He's a genuine box-to-box player [and] will get goals because he gets into dangerous positions".

Prior to his £5m Spurs move, Alli claimed to be a Liverpool fan. He told the Daily Mail:

"I am actually a Liverpool fan and Gerrard is someone I look up to massively. Gerrard was a big influence on why I support Liverpool"

Clearly, Alli's fan-status made no difference to his decision, and in a recent interview, the 19-year old explained why he snubbed Liverpool. He told the Liverpool Echo:

“At the time I didn’t feel Liverpool was the right move personally, and I wanted to stay at MK a bit longer to get some more first-team experience. I knew if I got more experience by the end of the season that I’d be ready to move.”

Alli's former boss, Karl Robinson, is convinced that the youngster is destined for greatness. Last season, Robins - channeling his inner-Rodgers - gushed:

"He [Alli] is the most gifted youngster I've ever seen. He's sensational. He's on another planet. He’s a terrific individual, and to be a top player you have to conduct yourself in the right way and he certainly does that"

Did Liverpool miss out here? The Academy is bursting at the seams with young talent, but the club lacks - even in the youth ranks - big, tall, combative midfield players, and Alli arguably offers something different.

Unfortunately, Gerrard aside, no central midfielder has ever graduated from the academy to become a regular in the first team. Jay Spearing came closest, but he averaged only 10 appearances a season over a 5-year period.

With seven starts this season, Alli is a regular for Spurs, so he arguably made the the right decision to reject Liverpool.

At Anfield, he'd be behind Milner, Henderson, Lucas, and (possibly) Can in the pecking order, and Rodgers probably would've sent him out on loan.

Author: Jaimie K


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