Dele Alli: The Best 21-Year Old, I'd Say I Can't Deny...

Nick J'han  |  Special  |  5 Months Ago

Best 21-year old in the World, I’d say I can’t deny!


Dele Alli’s meteoric rise, especially coming from an absolutely humble background is worth applauding. His success story does not only come as an idea to many managers, but an average ambitious kid too who’s first real dream is to be like ‘One of them’. Not just for the kids, Dele Alli is a far cry for many modern footballers who come from the pampered academies and switch from club to club for cheap. 


Is it why England’s most eligible superstar got a bit embarrassed Mauricio Pochettino insisted upon telling that Dele is the best 21-year old in the world? Its not his fault. Maybe his humble background has a way to express itself…

Dele Alli is the name who translates into someone who’s bright, articulate and thoughtful with his feet firmly on the ground. Starting his professional career with MK Dons as a teenager, Dele joined Spurs at the age of 18 before making his England debut the very next year. His career has been a whirlwind to say the least. Having said that, we trust that the memories that entail in the minds of those who’ve seen the superstar Dele Alli shaping up into a fledged footballer aren’t precisely same as everyone else.


Starting out as a kid in Milton Keynes, Dele had to endure every possible hardship to climb up the ladder. Not everyone knows that the Dele Alli who drive Mercs and Limbos and wear Guccis and Armanis didn’t have £1 for his training sessions. There was a time when he was needed to take up a part-time job at a nearby newsstand to support his family. He was merely 10-years old then. Do you remember what you were up to at that age?



“From Under-9 to Under-11s I played in a Sunday league,” said Dele. “Before that there was this scheme where you had to pay £1 to train and I used to do that. But I wasn’t able to pay it and in the end they let me do it for free.


“When I was young I had quite big feet so the older lads in the area used to give me their hand-me-down boots. They looked after me.


“There is a lot pressure on the parents with a kid who wants to become a professional footballer. There is a lot of responsibility, having to drive them around everywhere. You see the academies now, they play all over the country.


“Milton Keynes was a bit different. But when you come from where I came from there were a lot more important things to spend a pound on than football training. Obviously for me at the time I thought it was all that mattered.


“But for families who are struggling it’s not the case. They need a lot of support. But when you are nine or 10, maybe the vision of your parents isn’t the same as what it is for you.”


Dele Alli isn’t just another superstar in the world of football. Dele comes across as still a big kid at heart, not quite believing how quickly events turned around for him. Dele connects brilliantly with kids at a Tottenham Hotspurs’ community event as we saw him kicking the ball with them in London last month. He’s a firm critic of children based crimes and anti-social behaviours against them and has been one of the ambassadors for the same.



“The opportunity to play football was so important to me as I was growing up and this new football league the Club is running is a brilliant way of getting young people from this area together to play sport and meet friends within a safe environment," said Dele. 


As a kid with Milton Keynes, Dele would always think of playing for England and the World Cup and both of these dreams came true this summer as Dele Alli wasn’t only the most trusted Gareth Southgate boys, but even scored a scream for his team and country. 


“Competing in the World Cup and the Champions League, every kid will tell you they are what you want to be a part of and to be a part of it now is surreal,” said Dele.


“I feel like I’ve been playing for a long time now but I think a lot happened to me really quickly, there’s moments where you step back and think it’s unbelievable and think: ‘how can this have happened to me?’


“But then there’s times where you actually think about it, but this whole thing that’s happened, I’ve been working for it since I was a kid and there’s been a lot of decisions I’ve had to make and it’s all been to do this and put myself in this position.


"I wouldn’t say I was surprised, I’m confident in my ability, maybe I was surprised by how quickly it happened, but it’s always been my aim and I’ll keep working hard to achieve even more.”



Dele Alli was speaking at the launch of the Tottenham Hotspur Community Football League – a new initiative delivered by the Club’s Foundation, alongside Haringey Council and the Met Police – to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour in the Borough.

Is Dele Alli not the best 21-year old in the Premier League?


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