Dele Alli scored a brace on Wednesday in Tottenham Hotspur’s 4-1 away win over Southampton, bringing his tally to seven goals in all competitions, tied for second behind Harry Kane, who has ten. After 50 league matches, Alli has scored as many Premier League goals (16) as Paul Scholes did in his first 50 league matches while dishing out seven more assists, and has also scored more than Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard in the same period.
It’s hard to put a price tag on Alli’s worth to the team, but Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino may have set the minimum bar by agreeing that Dele is easily a £50m player.
"Yes [he is a £50m player], why not? Today Dele Alli is showing a quality, a talent that it's difficult to find in Europe at 20 years old," Pochettino said.
"There's no doubt he is and will be one of the best players in England in the next 10, 12 years. And England represents Europe, and maybe the world too.
"The Premier League is the toughest and best competition in the world, and if you are one of the best in England you are one of the best in Europe.
"In one year and a half we've talked a lot, and we can see how he is as a person, and that's important; how he's growing up, not only in football. For different reasons that crossed different problems, but he's improved a lot in his behaviour, in his game, in football.
"Now it's a big challenge for all the opponents to stop Dele Alli. He's said he wants success here, he's very happy here, and there's no doubt that he wants to win titles here."
It’s no secret that there are big clubs sniffing around Dele and have been for some time. While the odds of Spurs eventually selling him to a league opponent are precisely zero, both PSG and Real Madrid have been open in their admiration of him.
Alli appears to be settled and happy at White Hart Lane and there doesn’t really seem to be any reason to doubt his commitment to Spurs. Still, Dele is only 20, hasn’t even come close to hitting his ceiling, and it’s probably not if a huge-money bid comes in for him from a mega-rich club, but when.
Spurs are focused on keeping their young core of elite talent happy and playing well, and it would take stupid money to pry him away from Tottenham, but as we saw with the Gareth Bale saga, there isn’t much the club can do if a player is ready to make the leap to a top tier club and wants to go. However, as we also saw in the Gareth Bale saga, Daniel Levy will only sell reluctantly, and only for top dollar. A hypothetical £50m bid is almost certainly a low-ball offer.