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    • #5586
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      Dele Alli snapped into a crunching tackle close to halfway at Wembley and put England on the attack against France. The teenager demanded the ball back and duly hammered an unstoppable 25-yarder into the top corner.

      As far as full England debuts go, there have been few better. Having lit up the Premier League so far this term, the dynamic midfielder showcased his talents on the international stage,

      However, for some members of Liverpool’s hierarchy, Alli’s latest eye-catching performance will have made for uncomfortable viewing.

      The 19-year-old is the boyhood Red who grew up idolising Gerrard as he worked his way through the ranks at MK Dons.

      Liverpool scouted him extensively and at one point Alli looked destined for Anfield. But when a long-since mooted move to the big time finally arrived earlier this year it was Tottenham who got the deal done and secured his services for an initial fee of £5million.

      The question is how did Liverpool allow one of England’s most gifted starlets to slip from their grasp?

      Alli was on the Reds’ radar shortly after he made his first-team debut for MK Dons against Cambridge City in the FA Cup at the age of 16 back in November 2012.

      Brendan Rodgers monitored his progress closely and had him watched throughout the 2013/14 campaign. Rodgers received regular updates from MK Dons boss Karl Robinson, who had previously coached at Liverpool’s Kirkby Academy,

      “He is one of the most gifted 17-year-olds this country has ever seen,” Robinson said after Alli had plundered his first senior hat-trick against Notts County in March 2014.

      “I’ve said from the word go, he’s as good as it gets and he’s the best young player I’ve ever worked with. I see him as a young Steven Gerrard, who had a similar frame and build to him. He needs to learn to score more goals and is getting better at that.”

      The reviews were repeatedly glowing, with former Reds scout Mel Johnson pushing for a deal to be done. bBut when in the summer of 2014 Liverpool began to talk terms over a possible transfer, the fee kept on rising, as did the add-ons.

      Rodgers was keen to get him on board but others members of the transfer committee weren’t convinced that Alli represented value for money. There was a feeling that he would need another 12 to 18 months to be ready for the demands of Premier League football.

      “Gerrard was a big reason I began supporting Liverpool,” he said.

      “I remember Istanbul, the FA Cup final, and the game against Olympiakos: Gerrard just scoring amazing goals. Gerrard was a big influence on why I supported Liverpool.”

      But with no deal in place he ended up staying put at the start of last season. After his classy display in the League Cup demolition of Manchester United his list of suitors grew.

      When the bids started to come in again back in January, Liverpool weren’t involved. Having bolstered their midfield ranks with Emre Can the previous summer, they had also lined up a deal for James Milner.

      Spurs were left to beat off competition from Newcastle and Aston Villa, and they achieved that by agreeing to loan Alli back to the Dons for the rest of the campaign.

      Alli helped Robinson’s side win promotion to the Championship back in May before heading for White Hart Lane. His mix of athleticism and technical ability has made him an instant hit in the capital.

      That £5million fee, which will rise considerably as he triggers the various add-ons, already looks like small change.

      Source: http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/revealed-how-liverpool-fc-missed-10461719

    • #9376
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      It appears Nigeria wasn't the only entity that missed out on the young chap.

    • #9377
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      Seriously, I really don't see the big deal about this guy. Nothing special to me. I sense another English hype.

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