'Alli can be one of best in Europe, says Sir Alex'

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The Tottenham midfielder scored twice against Real Madrid in midweek and has apparently been hailed by the former Manchester United manager

Sir Alex Ferguson has predicted that Dele Alli can become one of the very best midfielders in Europe, according to testimony from Roy Hodgson.

Hodgson's Crystal Palace face Tottenham on Sunday, just four days after Alli scored twice in Spurs' seismic 3-1 victory over Real Madrid in the Champions League.

Spurs 5/2 to beat Dortmund

The former MK Dons midfielder has enjoyed a meteoric rise in recent years, making over 100 appearances for the club since his £5 million move from the League One club, and also winning 22 England caps.

Hodgson is not afraid of facing Spurs, but he maintains that Alli can become one of the finest players in his position on the continent.

"I was talking to Alex Ferguson and he said this guy can be one of the best midfielders in Europe," the former England manager said, as reported by the Belfast Telegraph.

"I don't like to put pressure on the young man but there's no doubt he's at the top. If you talk about the top midfielders in Europe he would be in the reckoning, and he's still only 21, hasn't got 200 games behind him, hasn't got 50 caps. The more he goes on is when we'll see him get really better.

"There will have been offers [from big clubs] already. Tottenham won't want to let him go and it would only be one of the top-echelon clubs who could even consider buying him."

Dele Alli Tottenham Real

Palace sit bottom of the Premier League table, with just four points from eight games, while Spurs are third, eight points behind leaders Manchester City.

The sole win of Hodgson's reign came against reigning champions Chelsea, and the 70-year-old is hopeful that the Eagles can spring another surprise.

"I don't need to convince them. There is no doubt Tottenham were great [against Real]. They might be at different ends of the table, but my squad are still proud of their abilities.

"It just happens to be a game where we are going to be put to a bigger test than maybe we were before because Spurs have some exceptional players.

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"They won't go into the game thinking they are chanceless; there's no way that is going to happen. If it turns out that they are too good for us, like Manchester City and Manchester United, we will hold our hands up.

"But we won't go onto that field thinking they are too good for us to play against. We will go thinking we are going to beat these, and let's see what happens.

"If players allow themselves to listen to all the noise on social media and from TV pundits they will be affected. But the bottom line is that when we cross that line on Sunday there is nothing to stop our players doing all the things they're capable of."

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