4 Jan 2016

Redknapp: 'Amazing' £20m powerhouse who rejected Liverpool is like Gerrard. Better than Can?

Throughout 2014, Liverpool were regularly linked with England U21 midfielder Dele Alli, who ultimately rejected Anfield to sign for Spurs. At one point, Brendan Rodgers made a personal scouting trip to watch Alli, and according to ex-Red Jamie Redknapp, the young midfielder is comparable to one of Liverpool's greatest ever players.

In his column for the Daily Mail this week, Redknapp raved:

"He [Alli] is the closest thing I've seen to Stevie [Gerrard]. This kid is fantastic".

In my view, this is irresponsible overpraise, but that's par for the course in the UK, where any British player with the slightest talent is lionised and deified to a ridiculous degree. Indeed, according to Harry Redknapp:

"Tottenham paid £5million for him [Alli] in the end, which is nothing. It is an amazing buy. He’s worth at least £20m now if not a lot more".

Give me a break.

Gerrard himself is also a fan of Alli, and in November, he told BT Sport:

"I was disappointed Liverpool didn't sign him [Alli], especially with me coming to the end. I could see [him] playing for Liverpool for 10 or 15 years."

Gerrard's comments indirectly suggest that he sees Alli as a more viable replacement for him than Emre Can; if that's not the case, why is he 'disappointed' that Liverpool failed to seal the deal when he was 'coming to the end'? At that point, the Reds already had Can in the squad.

Emre Can is similar to Alli in some ways (position/height etc), but statistically, Can is a little more effective defensively (in the Premier League):

* Can wins a higher percentage of tackles/aerial/ground duels; completes more BRICs^, and has slightly higher passing accuracy (80% vs. 77%).

Going forward, though, Alli leaves Can in the dust:

* More goals/assists (8 vs. 0 for Can); better shooting accuracy; more shots on target; more crosses; fewer minutes per chances created.

Like Can, Alli is a little overrated (IMO), but one thing's for sure: neither player (from what I've seen) is capable of emulating Steven Gerrard in the long term.

Author: Jaimie K


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