Dele Alli a future Tottenham leader, says Mauricio Pochettino

Tottenham Hotspur's Dele Alli celebrates scoring his side's second goal v Chelsea during the Premier League match at White Hart Lane, London
Image: Dele Alli has continued his fine form at Tottenham this season

Dele Alli has the qualities to become a leader at Tottenham in the future, according to Mauricio Pochettino.

Alli does not turn 21 until April but has established himself as a regular for Spurs and England since arriving from Sky Bet League One side MK Dons 18 months ago. The midfielder has scored 14 times for club and country already this season.

Alli grew up a Liverpool supporter but chose north London ahead of a move to Anfield back in 2015 and Spurs will go seven points clear of the Reds if they win on Merseyside on Saturday.

Ahead of the game Pochettino said: "Of course it is important we have Hugo Lloris, the captain of France, he is an experienced player and can maybe give better advice than younger players.

Tottenham Hotspur's Dele Alli shakes hands with manager Mauricio Pochettino
Image: Mauricio Pochettino has tipped Dele Alli to be a future leader at Tottenham

"But then we have Dele Alli, with his personality and character, maybe he can become a leader in a few years. Every player in the squad has leadership qualities, they just need time to develop the qualities.

"It's important to have good character and always work to win, not just to say 'I want to win' - it is to show you want it with your behaviour, attitude, enthusiasm, your own motivation."

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Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino insists his side won't be complacent against Liverpool, despite their opponent's poor start to 2017.

Awaiting Spurs on Saturday are a Liverpool side whose only victory in 2017 has come in an FA Cup third-round replay at League Two Plymouth, but Pochettino has given Jurgen Klopp his backing.

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He said "I cannot speak for another coach but all the managers, and Klopp with his experience, he is clever like other managers to provide good balance.

Tottenham Hotspur's English midfielder Dele Alli (2nd R) jumps to head their first goal past Manchester City's Chilean goalkeeper Claudio Bravo (L) during
Image: Dele Alli has scored 13 goals for Tottenham, and one for England, this season

"If you win you are a genius, if you don't win you are criticised. You need to be natural, spontaneous and believe in the way you play, use your methods. It's an easy answer: only work in the way you believe you can achieve big things."

Pochettino also confirmed Tottenham have reappointed Steve Hitchen as the club's chief scout.

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