Vertonghen: I didn't know who Alli was

The Tottenham Hotspur centre-back admits he was not aware of the midfielder before he arrived at White Hart Lane, but praised the impact he has made this season


Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen has admitted he did not know who Dele Alli was before the midfielder arrived at White Hart Lane.

Alli joined Spurs from MK Dons in January but spent the remainder of the 2014-15 campaign on loan with his boyhood club.

The 19-year-old has enjoyed a fine start to his first season with Tottenham, and was on the scoresheet in Monday's 3-1 victory over Aston Villa.

And Vertonghen conceded after the game that he was not aware of Alli before his move to north London earlier this year.

"He's [Alli] a very good player," the Belgian told Sky Sports. "To be honest, before he came I didn't really know him.

"I didn't know anything about the lower leagues but this guy has impressed everyone since the first day we met.

"He was there for a short while at the end of the season but I never saw him play, but since the first training he's been unbelievable and I think it shows the strength of the leagues - the Championship, League One and League Two.

"I think he has a great future and I hope he stays with us for a very long time. He's a great player, great guy and I think he deserved to win this [man-of-the-match] trophy."