Swanny’s World of Sport - Is Alli really the greatest we have?

Tottenham Hotspur's Dele Alli.
Tottenham Hotspur's Dele Alli.
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Dele Alli is the best thing to come out of Milton Keynes since ....actually I can’t think of anything else.

He looked a great player in League One last season and he’s performed superbly for Spurs given his inexperience (he’s only 19) in the Premier League this season.

His place in the Spurs first-team proves that top-tier English clubs should scout more in the lower divisions of the Football League rather than in Europe for nonentities.

Alli cost Spurs an initial fee of £5 million which blows out of the water the argument that it’s too expensive to buy young English players. Liverpool paying £18 million for donkey defender Mamadou Sakho also helps destroy that particular myth.

But Alli’s call-up to the England squad for the lastest set of meaningless, one-sided Europan Championship qualifiers, and to a lesser extent that of Danny Ings and Jamie Vardy, two honest toilers who will never be truly international class, also exposes a massive problem for head coach Roy Hodgson.

There is an obvious shortage of English qualified talent, a fact that our Premier League clubs, and the competition itself, is doing little to resolve.

In an ideal world the football clubs would beat the country as a whole and start trading less and less with Europe.

Just 32 per cent of players who took part in the opening weekend of the Premier League season were qualified to be selected by Hodgson.

That figure is ‘not too bad’ according to one halfwit at the FA. Presumably he didn’t notice that the third goalkeeper in the England squad for games against Estonia and Lithuania is playing in the Championship with Burnley having failed to save them from relegation from the Premier League last season.

It’s not as though an influx of foreigners is doing our clubs any good anyway.

The Champions League results will show you that. Either side of thrashing top six sides Leicester City and Manchester United, Arsenal lost at home to a terrible Greek team.

If United boss Louis Van Gaal thinks Memphis Depay is the answer to his team’s struggles the question can only have been ‘where can I find the laziest winger in Europe?’

Newcastle United, the laughing stock of the Premier League, could have purchased English-qualified striker Charlie Austin in the summer, but instead forked out relative fortunes on Aleksandar Mitrovic and Georginio Wijnaldum.

Austin is no world-beater, but he can score in the top flight. I’d never even heard of Wijnaldum before starting to research this article (yes I do research occasionally).

Anyway Newcastle, who have long been fans of foreign players, are bottom of the Premier League having been thrashed by 6-1 by Manchester City last weekend. A change of direction on and off the field would probably help.

Newcastle are so bad they couldn’t even beat the hopeless Chelsea side at home having been two goals in front.