Pochettino: Alli has matured as a player

Dele Alli

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has praised midfielder Dele Alli for the way he has matured and developed as a player recently.

Pochettino gave the 22-year-old the captain’s armband on Wednesday for the Carabao Cup third-round clash with Watford at Stadium MK, where Alli helped Spurs progress via a penalty shoot-out.

Alli has been criticised in the past for being too temperamental but Pochettino believes the England international has grown up and become one of Europe’s finest attacking midfielders.

“Being a captain means a lot – it’s not just about wearing the armband,” Pochettino told the press. “Dele spoke from the heart in his team-talk and I like that. I can’t tell you what he said but he was very good.

“He was back in his home town, playing at his old stadium, it was fantastic for him and so I decided to make him captain. I think he did very well.

“He is more mature and has more experience. When you are young, you do some crazy things, but he has grown up.

“He is one of the best in England and one of the best in Europe in his position. I hope the experience of being captain for the first time will help him to improve even more.”

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