Dele on Monaco and England call-up
01 October 2015|Tottenham Hotspur
Dele Alli had plenty on his mind following Thursday evening’s draw in Monaco.
The 19-year-old midfielder completed the full 90 minutes at Stade Louis II as we took the lead through Erik Lamela, only for Stephan El Shaarawy to nod in an equaliser nine minutes from time with the Europa League Group J contest ending 1-1.
Named in the senior England squad for the first time earlier in the day, the energetic starlet couldn’t help but feel like we should have taken more from our second continental outing of the season, although he’s already targeting a better result when we return to Premier League duty at Swansea City on Sunday.
“It feels like a defeat,” he admitted. “It was a strong first half and maybe we should have seen the game out, finished a few more chances, but it wasn’t to be.
“Monaco are a good side, we knew what we had to do to win the game and we stuck to the game plan but it wasn’t to be because they scored that late goal.
“It shows how strong we are at the moment to come away to Monaco, draw 1-1 and for it to feel like a loss. Everyone is down and it’s important we pick ourselves up and take the positives from this game into the game at Swansea.”
Dele was certainly a lot more upbeat over his international call-up, however!
It was revealed on Thursday lunchtime that England boss Roy Hodgson has picked the all-action midfielder to be part of his squad for the forthcoming Euro 2016 qualifiers against Estonia and Lithuania – continuing what has already been a period of real progress for the youngster.
The draw in Monaco represented his ninth appearance for us so far this term, while he also stepped up to England Under-21 level for the first time last month.
“I was speechless!” admitted the former MK Dons man when asked how he reacted to the news of his first senior 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.”
On the upcoming games for England, he added: “It’s a great chance for me to show what I can do, show the manager and all the players. At the moment I’m just focusing on Spurs, the game at Swansea, but when it comes, I’ll work as hard as I can in training and see if I can get some minutes on the pitch.”