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Dublin: 19 °C Wednesday 12 August, 2020

THREE big clubs snubbed 'better-than-Bale' Alli, reveals former boss

The teenager’s old MK Dons boss, Karl Robinson, says numerous teams watched the midfielder.

A HOST OF Premier League giants rejected the chance to sign Dele Alli even though he boasted a better record in League One than Gareth Bale and Theo Walcott, according to MK Dons boss Karl Robinson.

The 35-year-old coach, who handed the Tottenham sensation his professional debut at 16-years-old, believes several top-flight clubs missed out on Alli over the past year after refusing to give him a chance.

The Spurs starlet has since won two caps for England and has starred in the Premier League after moving up two divisions, and Robinson has hailed the teenager’s achievements.

“A lot of big teams missed out,” he said. “Three teams said he wasn’t good enough, only 12 months ago.

“They were saying he’s only done it in League One, but that’s where Gareth Bale and Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain did it and Dele’s record was better than all of them.

“We always said there would be a day when Dele outgrew our club, when the training and the games were not challenging him anymore. Last Christmas, we had a serious conversation in a hotel in Crewe when we agreed it was almost time.”

Robinson has been delighted by the youngster’s impact following his £5 million move to White Hart Lane in January and believes Alli is the complete footballer.

“There’s no arrogance in him,” Robinson said. “We had our debates. We’ve dealt with him strictly at times because discipline is important but he took everything on board. It’s a good sign.

“He’s grounded, and he plays football like every fan wants to see. He covers every blade of grass. He tackles, he scores goals. He is the modern-day all-action footballer.”

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