With the 2015/16 season a week old and the summer transfer window winding down, Tottenham Hotspur are still left with some questions in their central midfield. Returning stars Nabil Bentaleb and Christian Eriksen have a firm hold on two of the starting central roles, yet Spurs are still looking for one final piece to complete the puzzle.
Ryan Mason was the answer last season, starting 29 Premier League games, and Eric Dier was awarded the start in this season’s first game against Manchester United. Spurs are also rumored to be looking for one more midfielder to come in and compete, namely Sven Bender of Borussia Dortmund.
Despite still scouring the transfer market and having several veteran options, Tottenham could already have both their short-term and long-term answer on the squad in newcomer Dele Alli.
Alli tore up League One for MK Dons last season, scoring 16 goals and netting 9 assists while being named to the PFA Football League One Team of the Year. Compare that to Mason, who played admirably but only finished with 1 goal and 4 assists in the Premier League.
Since joining Spurs, Alli has already made quite the impression on both manager Mauricio Pochettino and fans alike. He squashed any whispers about a potential loan spell thanks to his solid play in the MLS All-Star Game and Audi Cup. In the latter, Alli executed a perfect nutmeg of former Spurs midfielder Luka Modric to the fans’ delight.
The expectation has gone from potential loan spell to super-sub and Europa starter for Alli in 2015/16, but that is still selling the youngster short.
While the 19-year-old only has only a handful of Premier League minutes under his belt, Alli is Tottenham’s best option to complement Bentaleb in the middle right now. He has shown that he can create and score goals on offense, and at 6’0”, he has the size and tools to be a physical presence on the defensive side of the ball.
Alli is a special talent who has the drive and skill to succeed at Tottenham Hotspur. Pochettino needs to turn him loose now and show the league what he can do.