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Alli almost slipped Spurs net as Levy had to be talked into £5m bargain buy

4:54 am AEDT 13/1/19
Dele Alli Tottenham
David Pleat has revealed that he had to plead with the Tottenham chairman to make a move for the midfielder and not risk missing out on his potential

Dele Alli was almost passed up by Tottenham, David Pleat has revealed, with the club having to be talked into a £5 million ($6m) deal which has proved quite the bargain.

Back in January 2015, Spurs raided the ranks at MK Dons for the highly-rated midfielder.

They were buying into potential at that stage and had no way of knowing whether their investment would be rewarded.

Alli has gone on to take in over 160 appearances for the club and net 52 goals, while also becoming an established member of the senior England side.

He is still just 22 years of age and can take his game to even greater heights as he chases down major honours with Spurs.

Those in north London could have missed out on him altogether, though, with Pleat having pleaded with chairman Daniel Levy not to let a talent clearly destined for the top slip the net.

The former Tottenham boss told talkSPORT: “I had seen a lot of Dele Alli and I was convinced.

“I had spoken to [Spurs technical director Franco] Baldini, I spoke to all sort of people about him, I was pushing, pushing, pushing.

“It wasn’t clever. He’d played about 75, 80 games regularly in men’s football for a team called MK Dons, nice people, just down the road. I saw a lot of him and I was convinced, given the opportunity, that he would do well.

“So, just before the deadline on, I think it was the January, I was going to a game at Luton and it was Daniel Levy [on the phone] and Daniel said to me, ‘This boy Alli, we hear he’s going to have a medical or he’s going to talk to Villa and to Newcastle. What do you think?’

“I said, ‘Mr Chairman, it’s a no brainer!’ and he said to me, ‘Yes, but they want £5m for him.’

“I said, ‘Chairman, it’s a no brainer. I would take him at £5m, you can’t lose on him. If we are sympathetic, if we encourage him, I’ve got every hope for this particular boy,’ and of course he took my advice.”

Alli penned a new contract with Spurs in October which is set to keep him in north London until the summer of 2024.