Rumors and stories linking Dele Alli away from Tottenham Hotspur are going to be omnipresent for as long as he stays with the club. While there haven’t been any solid links between Dele and any of the mega-clubs this summer, it seems like only a matter of time before someone makes a huge bid for him.
But Dele, for what it’s worth, seems calm and unconcerned about his future, telling the Telegraph that he’s happy being a Tottenham player and isn’t looking too far into the future right now.
“It’s not really something I am thinking about too much,” Alli says. “I think people get too worried about where they are going to end up and lose focus on the journey and not enjoying it. So, for me, as a player I’m signed at Tottenham and I am enjoying it. Who knows where I am going to end up but I am enjoying the journey.
“Whether I stay at Tottenham for the rest of my career or if I do happen to go somewhere else I’m sure if it happens it will be at a time when I think that’s what’s needed. For me, personally, I am just looking forward to enjoying the journey I have.
— Jason Burt, The Telegraph
As Tottenham Hotspur supporters, I don’t think you can ask for a better statement from Dele at this time than what he says here. Dele Alli is a world-class talent, and as much as we enjoy having him at Spurs, deep down we all know that eventually his ability and ambition is probably going to outgrow Tottenham Hotspur. He’s a player that is almost certainly destined for Real Madrid or Barcelona. It’s probably just a matter of time.
However, Dele’s comments here show that he’s not simply using Spurs as a stepping stone to bigger things. You can tell through his interactions with Mauricio Pochettino and his teammates that he is genuinely enjoying his time at Tottenham, and that he’s also developing as a player.
As good as he is now, Dele still has room to grow, and that’s what makes me calm about his short term future at Tottenham. The big-time clubs in football have the financial clout to be able to spend top dollar to get the best players. They don’t need to develop young talent, and Dele’s still probably a year or two away from walking into the Madrid starting XI. A move this summer, or maybe even next summer, doesn’t make much sense.
Even so, the idea of Dele leaving for a top club feels somehow different than it did when Gareth Bale left for Madrid. Bale wanted to go, and most fans understood that at the time, but there was the sense that he forced his way out of the club in a manner that left a bitter taste in the mouths of his fans. Maybe the same thing will happen with Dele, but somehow I’d be a little surprised. Rather, I suspect that if and when Dele does leave Tottenham, it will feel more like this is a natural progression and the obvious next step in his development.
Or maybe, like Harry Kane, he’ll fall in love with this crazy club and want to stay forever. And that would all right too.