Alli has X-fac­tor for Po­chet­tino

New Straits Times - - Sport -

LON­DON: Mauri­cio Po­chet­tino says he is con­stantly sur­prised by Dele Alli af­ter the Tot­ten­ham mid­fielder helped fill the gap left by the in­jured Harry Kane.

Kane, the club’s lead­ing scorer, has been ruled out for six weeks af­ter pick­ing up an an­kle in­jury, forc­ing Po­chet­tino to re­jig his team’s at­tack.

The Tot­ten­ham man­ager se­lected South Korea for­ward Son He­ung-Min to re­place Kane against Southamp­ton, but it was Chris­tian Erik­sen and Alli who pro­vided the goals that se­cured a 2-1 vic­tory and ex­tended the club’s cur­rent home run to 10 suc­ces­sive league wins.

Alli scored for a fourth suc­ces­sive game with a first half penalty awarded af­ter he had been up­ended by Steven Davis to take his sea­son’s tally to 17 goals.

And Po­chet­tino in­sists the Eng­land in­ter­na­tional once again demon­strated his abil­ity to fill in dif­fer­ent ar­eas of the pitch.

“Dele Alli al­ways can sur­prise and you can’t guess with him,” Po­chet­tino said.

“He has an un­be­liev­able per­son­al­ity and char­ac­ter and it is all pos­si­ble with him.

“He is a player who likes to run into the box, he is very of­ten very clever into the box.

“In the box he looks like a striker be­cause he is more than clever, he has made his mark. Out­side the box play­ing like a mid­fielder.

“I saw him at 17-years-old play­ing at Mil­ton Keynes as a hold­ing mid­fielder against Manch­ester United. Al­ways he can sur­prise me, maybe one day he can play like a goal­keeper or a full-back or a cen­tre-back.”

Po­chet­tino was also pleased with Son’s dis­play in the cen­tre­for­ward role af­ter opt­ing for the 24-year-old ahead of Vin­cent Janssen.

“I think it was good. He had some chances to score, great move­ment, he con­nected with Dele and Chris and I am very pleased with his per­for­mance,” he said.

“It was a great op­por­tu­nity to win and you will al­ways miss your main striker. We must do what we can while he is in­jured and it was im­por­tant to us to get that feel­ing, win the game, score goals.

“I think it keeps our po­si­tion in the ta­ble with a very im­por­tant three points.

“Our home form is fan­tas­tic. I think the team de­served all the prizes be­cause we have been play­ing very well.

“It’s al­ways dif­fi­cult to play and keep your level in ev­ery game, but we have to be pleased to keep our po­si­tion, get three points and our per­for­mance was good.

“The vic­tory keeps us in a very good po­si­tion in the ta­ble.”

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