By 90Min
March 16, 2018

Mauricio Pochettino has explained why he considers Tottenham star Dele Alli to be the 'best' player in his age group in world football right now.

The Spurs boss was quoted by ESPN as he urged the assembled press to name one other starlet who had done what the 21-year-old has achieved during his short professional career.

Alli was born around the same time as other talented players such as Leroy Sane, Kingsley Coman and Anthony Martial - players who have all won silverware with their respective clubs.

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But Pochettino was adamant that his goalscoring midfielder was far and away the best of the bunch as he called on journalists to name a better player.

He queried: "For me, Dele Alli, for his age, is the best. That's it. In the world. Tell me one better than him, one 21-year-old, all that he achieves. Tell me one. Now. A current player.

"Maybe you can find similar. But better than him? For me, he is the best because he is my player too. Maybe I am not objective but, for me, he is amazing, all that he is doing."

Alli has endeared himself to the Tottenham faithful for his scoring exploits and natural talent over the past two-and-a-half seasons, but he has drawn plenty of scorn from other football fans and the media for his antics on the pitch.

The England international has been slammed for diving to try and win penalties for his team and his hot-headedness has also landed him in hot water for over the top tackles when things aren't going his way.

Pochettino, however, moved again to defend his star from criticism - especially that levelled at Alli recently for not finding the back of the net regularly this term.

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The Argentine added: "The most important for Dele is us, if we criticise him. If we are not happy with him, that is what is important for him. And we never criticise him.

"That question is a little bit [surprising]...wow. We expect more from him? OK. Yes, of course. We want always more. But from the day that he makes his debut with us, in Tottenham, for me, he is one of the best in the world.

"He's a fantastic player. A special player. But that is only my point of view. Maybe it's not important for the people, it's not important for the people who criticise him to listen to me because I am only a simple coach. 

"But I promise you, I am the most critical person with my players. But it is difficult to criticise Dele."

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