Liverpool Transfer Rumours: Reds Wise to Look into Dele Alli

Richard Langford@@noontide34Correspondent IJanuary 9, 2014

MILTON KEYNES, ENGLAND - JANUARY 01:  Dele Alli of Milton Keynes Dons in action during the Sky Bet League One match between Milton Keynes Dons and Colchester United at Stadium MK on January 1, 2014 in Milton Keynes, England.  (Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images)
Pete Norton/Getty Images

At the tender age of 17, MK Dons starlet Dele Alli is reportedly getting interest from some Premier League heavyweights. That would appear to include Liverpool.

Brendan Rodgers was in attendance Saturday, Jan. 4 to watch MK Dons draw 3-3 with Wigan Athletic at DW Stadium. 

The Times' Rory Smith reported that Rodgers was there to watch Alli: 

The Daily Mail Online's Simon Jones also passed along this post-match quote from Dons manager Karl Robinson: 

I know Brendan quite well and we speak about different players all the time. I don't know the reason why he was at the game but Dele is special.

You will have seen him do some silly things because he is 17 years of age but he produced some bits of magic and you don't see many of them playing in an FA Cup third-round tie against a very good Wigan side and not look out of place.

Alli is an attacking midfielder with a bright future. He still has to put some meat on his bones to handle the consistent physicality of competition like that of the Premier League, but he has the skills to succeed. 

NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 06:  Dele Alli of MK Dons attempts to move away with the ball from Joe Widdowson of Northampton Town during the Capital One Cup First Round match between Northampton Town and MK Dons at Sixfields Stadium on August 6, 2013 in
Pete Norton/Getty Images

Rodgers had to have been impressed with what he saw while watching Alli take on Wigan. Both Smith and Robinson were quick to heap praise on the youngster for his mature effort. That is even more impressive considering he was helping lead a side which had eight players aged 22 or under. 

Alli possess the kind of talent to pull off what shouldn't be possible. Check out his goal from the below highlight around the 47-second mark: 

Still, it is important to keep in mind just how untested he is. As notes, Alli has made just six League One starts. 

Alli missed some time with a short-term injury in October, but other than that, it haI remos been smooth sailing as he progresses on in his budding career that saw him earn a favorable reputation while featuring for England's U-17 team. 

Development is never guaranteed, but Alli has the potential to become a cornerstone player for Liverpool, and Rodgers has shown great success bringing along young talent. 

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 05:  Brendan Rodgers, manager of Liverpool looks on prior to the Budweiser FA Cup third round match between Liverpool and Oldham Athletic at Anfield on January 5, 2014 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images
Clive Mason/Getty Images

In just the last 18 months, Liverpool have seen youngsters like Raheem Sterling, Jon Flanagan, Jordon Ibe and Andre Wisdom excel in Liverpool's lineup. Rodgers has also been aggressive in adding young talent in transfers with Luis Alberto, Tiago Ilori, Samed Yesil and Philippe Coutinho—all being added to the Liverpool books. 

Alli is younger than all of these guys, but his talent dictates that a club begin to move on him.

The Reds' acquisition of Alli isn't one that would help them capture the Premier League crown this season, but he can develop in Liverpool's youth ranks, and Rodgers can bring him into the lineup as he has with other young talents. 

Although there is a chance that Alli will never develop into a Premier League threat, his potential makes up for the gamble.