Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Dele Alli is in danger of wasting all the talent he’s got, believes Stan Collymore. The 21-year-old is making headlines for all wrong reasons after being booked for a dive in Tottenham’s controversial 2-2 draw at Liverpool on Sunday.
Alli has been handed three yellow cards for simulation since his debut Premier League season (2015/16). No other Premier League player has been punished for simulation more than the Spurs man and Collymore claims that the youngster must “pull the finger out” and concentrate on fulfilling his potential as he can go on to become a truly elite player.
“Dele Alli is at a crossroads,” Collymore wrote in his column for the Mirror.
“He can take one route and go on to become a great, mature professional who ends up at a Real Madrid or Barcelona and is hailed as England’s most talented footballer.
“Or he takes another and runs into some of the problems I had in my career – making the wrong choices at the wrong time, surrounded by the wrong people, leaving people frustrated and failing to fulfill his potential.
“But Alli is basically acting like a spoilt brat and building up quite a rap sheet — the latest entry being the dive against Liverpool on Sunday.
“This sort of thing has been going on with him for quite a while now, and he needs to pull his finger out otherwise he will have a major problem.
“He must shape up, help Tottenham win something and then move to one of the big boys of the football world — which he could easily do.
“The alternative? It doesn’t quite happen for him over the next few years, Spurs and Mauricio Pochettino get fed-up with him, he bounces from club to club and when he retires we look back at his career and say, “He could have done much more.”
The former England striker backed Alli to become one of the world’s best midfielders, saying:
“He has a massive chance to be one of the world’s best midfielders. His goal against Crystal Palace two seasons ago was one which only a small group of players could score. He has goals, great ability, can pass, great athleticism.
“But people are starting to use words like “immature”, “prat” and much worse when they talk about him – not descriptions you want to be associated with. Dele, take it from an older and hopefully a little bit wiser man: Go on and be the world-class player you can be and get everything out of the game your talent deserves.”
Truly, Alli has the potential to become one of the world’s best midfielders if he continues his development accordingly. But to achieve bigger things for Spurs and the national team, the youngster should eliminate his notorious nature and unnecessary gimmicks, on and off the field.