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Tottenham's Alli shows England class at Monaco

Against Monaco on Thursday, Dele Alli showed the talent that has seen him called into the England squad at the age of 19 after a handful of starts for Tottenham.

Dele Alli in action against Monaco
Dele Alli in action against Monaco ©Getty Images

Tottenham's Dele Alli learned of his elevation to England's senior ranks a few hours before taking to the field at the Stade Louis II, and the 19-year-old midfielder did not allow his new status to change his style of play in the 1-1 UEFA Europa League Group J draw.

Taking things in his stride has been the Alli way throughout his nascent career and, while his England call may have owed something to injuries to established players, it has not surprised experienced club-mates.

Tottenham's Belgium defender Jan Vertonghen said: "The call-up is what he deserved. We saw it from his first training session with us that he's a great player with a great future."

Alli caught the eye early in Monaco with an elaborate 360-degree turn on the ball that drew a foul from ASM captain Jérémy Toulalan, who said: "I didn't know much about him before the game, but it's true he played very well."

That virtuoso piece of skill was typical of Alli's ambitious style and Spurs captain Hugo Lloris is an avowed admirer of the January signing from MK Dons. "He has that composure that allows him to play superb football, but people need to give him time to develop," said the France goalkeeper.

A powerful box-to-box midfielder, Alli has an eye for goal and the killer pass. Having scored 16 times last term for MK Dons in the English third tier before completing his move to north London, the teenager would have been disappointed not to have converted a 35th-minute chance after gliding inside onto his right foot. Tottenham still scored, though, as Erik Lamela followed up after Danijel Subašić's save.

Alli's Premier League form has earned him an England call
Alli's Premier League form has earned him an England call©AFP/Getty Images

Alli then showed calm inside the area to fashion a glorious opportunity for Harry Kane, who will take Alli under his wing as already-qualified England take on Estonia and Lithuania in UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying.

Labelled a "very exciting talent" by national coach Roy Hodgson, the twice-capped Under-21 international could make the step up in the next fortnight. He will be able to count on advice from Kane, first selected at 21, and Lloris, also 21 when debuting for his country and now Les Bleus captain.

Lloris said: "Of course I'll speak to him about his call-up and the gaffer and the coaching staff will too. Experienced players are there to help youngsters come on. He's a young player, so we have to be careful with him. He has huge potential and he shows it every game. It's a great thing for him and he needs to keep working hard."