Dele Alli is 'undoubtedly good enough for Real Madrid' - Roberto Carlos
Dele Alli is “undoubtedly good enough for Real Madrid,” according to Brazil and Real legend Roberto Carlos.
Alli has been a revelation in his two seasons since joining Tottenham from Milton Keynes Dons, breaking into the England national team and winning back-to-back PFA Young Player of the Year awards.
Tottenham Hotspur's English midfielder Dele Alli (C) celebrates scoring the team's second goal with Tottenham Hotspur's Belgian defender Toby Alderweireld (L) and Tottenham Hotspur's Danish midfielder Christian Eriksen (R) during the FA Cup semi-final fooGetty Images
But Alli – who only turned 21 in April – has reached new heights in the second half of this season, producing numerous match-winning performances and racking up 17 Premier League goals to make him the top scoring midfielder in the division.
And those performances have attracted the attention of Europe’s biggest clubs, with Real Madrid legend Roberto Carlos telling The Sun that Los Blancos would be interested in adding the English star to their array of midfield options:
" He’s a brilliant player – I love him. I’ve seen him play some great games in England. Of course, it’s not up to me – transfers will, of course, be decided by the president – but we definitely could sign him. He is undoubtedly good enough for Real Madrid."
However, another former Real Madrid player has urged for Alli to be given time to develop away from the spotlight.
Rafael van der Vaart moved from Real to Tottenham in August 2010 and became, prior to Alli’s emergence, the club’s most dangerous goalscoring midfielder in the Premier League era.
And the 34-year-old Dutchman has backed Alli to develop into one of the world’s best players… as long as he is treated with patience.
"I hope everyone will give him his time to develop to his full potential,” Van der Vaart told the Tottenham Hotspur official website. “It is not easy in the Premier League for young players and perhaps even less so for the British talents because all eyes are on them.
"He is still so young and already so eager, I like that a lot. He is fast, fluid and has a great skill set. He is special and if he keeps enjoying himself and the game, he may become a true great.”
Real Madrid signing Dele Alli would be the wrong move for all parties.
While Alli is enormously talented, he is still a developing talent and needs time away from the goldfish bowl existence that players operate in at the world's biggest clubs. And to continue that development he needs game time - which is far from guaranteed at Real Madrid.
Real have, as ever, an embarrassment of riches in creative areas, all of whom would be in direct competition with Alli for a starting berth. Would the Englishman really justify getting into the starting XI ahead of the likes of Gareth Bale, Isco, James Rodriguez, Luka Modric or Marco Asensio? It seems unlikely at this stage of his career.
And, from the perspective of his current club, it would be a disaster for Tottenham to lose their brightest talent since Bale just as he becomes a player capable of carrying them to silverware.
Alli will undoubtedly have suitors this summer, but he'd be well advised to think twice before falling for the lure of Los Blancos.