04 August 2016|Tottenham Hotspur
It’s a year ago to the day that Dele Alli made his first start for Spurs - and left his mark on one of our modern-day greats.
Bayern Munich’s impressive Allianz Arena was the stage, Real Madrid were the opponents and with 23 minutes on the clock, Dele casually nutmegged Luka Modric in central midfield.
“I didn’t think too much about it until I was back in the changing room after the game, I looked at my phone and there were so many notifications!” recalled Dele, back working hard at Hotspur Way and ready to fly out to Oslo to meet Inter Milan on Friday. “I watched it back and it was a bit better than I thought it was! Luka laughed about it, he took it well.”
Dele went on to play 69 minutes of that game, 20 minutes against AC Milan, came off the bench for his Premier League debut at Old Trafford on August 7, scored his first goal at Leicester on August 22 and made his first Premier League start at Sunderland on September 13 - and didn’t look back.
He scored 10 goals in 33 appearances in the Premier League (including Match of the Day's Goal of the Season), made 46 appearances in all competitions and having first been called into the senior England squad in October, claimed a place in the Euro 2016 squad and ended the season with 12 caps including a glorious goal against France at Wembley - all of which earned him the PFA Young Player of the Year award.
‘I feel good’
Now the cycle starts again with Dele joining his fellow Euro 2016 participants in the squad to face Inter at Oslo’s Ullevaal Stadium. The game is live on ITV4 (4pm UK).
“It’s important to get this game in and get as many minutes under our belts as we can especially as a few of us haven’t played yet,” he said.
Below: Dele's perfect 10 - his 10 Premier League goals last season
“It will be good to blow away some cobwebs. I feel good though. I’ve done a lot of fitness work and it will be great to get out there again. It will be a tough test but we want that, to challenge ourselves against one of the best teams in Europe.
“The start of the season has come around so quickly, but you do miss it and you do want to get back out there again, so we’re all looking forward to it.”