Tottenham’s Dele Alli was left “speechless” by his maiden England call-up, just five months after playing in League One.
This has been a remarkable year for the highly-talented 19-year-old midfielder, having secured a £5 million move to Spurs, achieved promotion with MK Dons. Now he has earned his first senior national team call-up.
Alli will join Roy Hodgson’s squad for the upcoming Euro 2016 qualifiers against Estonia and Lithuania, having started the year played at the likes of Crawley, Scunthorpe and Fleetwood.
“I was speechless,” Alli said, when asked of his reaction to his call-up. “It’s been a really good start to the season for me. I maybe didn’t expect it to go this well.
“At the start of the season I set myself a target to try to become a regular in the Under-21s and try to get a few starts in the Premier League.
“Obviously, I’ve got a few starts already, so it’s been a great start and I can’t thank the players and staff enough for helping me settle in and play as well as I have been.”
Thursday was certainly an unforgettable day for Alli and was one which almost got even better. The 19-year-old produced another impressive as Spurs took on Monaco in the Europa League and nearly made the breakthrough in the principality.
Alli’s first half shot was smothered, and the ball was instead prodded home by Erik Lamela — who had started the move with some exquisite quick feet — to set Mauricio Pochettino’s side on course for what looked to be another Group J win.
However, a late header from substitute Stephan El Shaarawy saw the encounter end in 1-1 draw, leaving Alli ruing what could have been.
“It feels like a defeat,” he told Spurs TV.
“It was a strong first half from us and maybe we could have seen the game out, finished a few more chances but it wasn’t to be.
“I think it shows how well we are doing at the minute, obviously to come away to Monaco and 1-1 to feel like a loss.
“The boys are down and I think it is important we pick ourselves up again and take the positives from this game into the game at Swansea.”
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