Liverpool leading race to sign MK Dons starlet Dele Alli
Premier League top four chances Liverpool (13/10) are reportedly closing in on an £8m deal to take highly-rated MK Dons teenager Dele Alli to Anfield, but would send him back on loan for the remainder of the season.
Alli, 18, is a midfielder with an attacking instinct, who has been compared to a young Steven Gerrard, having already scored six times in nine League One appearances this term.
He is even a confirmed Liverpool supporter, with the Reds skipper being his idol. “I am actually a Liverpool fan and Gerrard is someone I look up to massively,” he said.
When referring to his style of play, meanwhile, he added: “I’d prefer to think I’m a cross between Gerrard and Yaya Toure.”
Despite only recently signing a new contract that ties him down in Milton Keynes until 2017, the likes of Tottenham and even German giants Bayern Munich have been tracking him.
Alli is certainly self-assured, and quite rightly so having already turned out for his club 56 times (netting 14), and says that he dreams “to play in the Premier League and the World Cup.”
MK Dons chairman Pete Winkelman has certainly thrown his hat in the ring to compliment the starlet, by even comparing him to George Best, following his recent hat-trick hitting performance in a 6-1 thrashing of Crewe Alexandra.
“The game against Crewe was for me one of the greatest performances I have ever seen of an individual player in a team game, ever,” Winkelman, a former manager for punk rock band The Clash, said with confidence.
“He reminded me of George Best because he was that good,” he added. “I am so excited to watch a Milton Keynes boy be that good, and he hit a different league against Crewe.
“To influence a game throughout 90 minutes and to be the furthest player back at some points and the striker at others, to score goals, to pass, and the way he tackled was fantastic.”
Crucially, Winkelman then said of Alli’s future: “We can’t keep a boy like that and you want him to go play at the highest level he can.
“What I love is that the best way he develops is by playing football in the first team and he won’t go from us until he is able to go into the first team of the place he’s going to.
“He won’t be a squad or Under-21 player, but my worry is that he can already play for the biggest team in the country now. Whatever he goes on to do we can be so proud of him.”
Liverpool, who reportedly had a £3.5m offer rejected for Alli in the summer, could now swoop in January to take him for more than double that, even though MK Dons manager Karl Robinson claims the youngster is worth more towards £10m.
Speaking about that famous 4-0 thrashing of Manchester United in the Capital One Cup second round, Alli said: “I wasn’t fazed against United. We were up against Anderson, [Adnan] Januzaj and [Nick] Powell. That three was the best midfield I’ve played against; their movement was a lot sharper than anyone I’ve come up against so far. But nothing fazes me.
“That game against United gave me great inspiration because that’s where I want to be playing – in the top leagues against the top teams. It showed I am capable of doing that eventually.”
But Delli seems switched on and realistic about his future, adding: “Everyone’s dream is to play in the World Cup and for a Premier League team but I’m happy here.
“I wouldn’t want to go and just be an Under-21 player. I’m definitely not in a rush to move on yet. Everyone wants to be playing at the highest level they can but there are different pathways to reach there.”
It seems that Delli will stay at Stadium:MK for the season at least, whether as a Dons or Liverpool-owned player, it remains to be seen. But his side, who currently lie fourth in League One after nine games, are 11/4 chances for promotion to the second tier, and 10/1 to finish top.