Tottenham new boy Dele Alli has admitted that he’ll be coming up against one of his footballing heroes if he gets to play in their game against Crystal Palace this weekend.
Having joined Spurs from MK Dons last season, the creative midfielder has been reflecting on the time he spent with Palace man Jason Puncheon whilst the pair were together in Milton Keynes, admitting that he and his teammates used to look up to the native South Londoner as the best player in the squad at the time.
Whilst not quite fitting the perfectly scripted story of having cleaned his former idol’s boots, it’s clear to see that Alli has a great deal of respect for Puncheon, with the latter having made an obvious impact on the youngster from a footballing perspective.
Indeed, both have gone on to far greater things in the years that have followed, with Jason becoming one of the most pivotal members of Alan Pardew’s first-team in SE25, prompting him to claim in a recent interview, that he feels he has grown up during his time at Selhurst Park.
Still only a teenager, Alli will be hoping that he can replicate and eventually eclipse the success Puncheon has enjoyed at the highest level in years to come, with his start to life at White Hart Lane suggesting that he has every chance of becoming one of the game’s superstars, at least on the domestic front.
It’s bound to prompt a few nostalgic pangs in the souls of both men should they come up against one another tomorrow afternoon, but in each case, they can look towards one another with mutual respect for their achievements. In a game known to be utterly ruthless, the pair have carved out successful careers from what were undoubtedly humble beginnings.