Former Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp has said the club's 20-year-old midfield sensation Dele Alli is worth more than Manchester United's Paul Pogba, who signed for a world-record £89 million from Juventus last summer, per Ben Rumsby for the Telegraph.
The 69-year-old, who won the 2008 FA Cup with Portsmouth during his 33-year managerial career, believes Alli is one of the brightest young prospects in football and is already worth a nine-digit figure.
"I think now he's worth £100 million," Redknapp said, per Rumsby. "If Pogba's £90 million, he's more. He's 20 years of age! The kid's got everything—he scores goals, makes goals, can head it, run, dribble, got an edge to him, puts his foot in. I think he's fantastic."
Alli joined Spurs for £5 million in February 2015 after the youngster had impressed during his first 18 months of senior football with Milton Keynes Dons. Redknapp, who points out that Alli played a hand in the Dons' 4-0 win over Manchester United in the League Cup in August 2014, is surprised that the Red Devils did not make a move before Spurs did.
"Didn't he play against Manchester United when they beat them that day?" he said, per Rumsby. "You wonder how they didn't take the kid from MK Dons for £5 million. How did they not see him? It's incredible that no one took him. £5 million! What a signing, what a player."
Tottenham are in action against Gent on Thursday in the Europa League, while United take on Saint-Etienne in the same competition. Winners of the tournament will receive a place in the Champions League—knowledge that should provide extra incentive for both clubs to field their strongest 11, particularly given that two of England's biggest six clubs will miss out on qualification via the Premier League.
With the benefit of hindsight, Alli appears to have made a fortunate choice in joining Spurs. Mauricio Pochettino has a reputation for developing young players and has clearly had a major impact on the England international, while United have continually struggled in the league and in Europe since Alli signed for Spurs in 2015.
What's more, the likes of Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial have struggled for game-time under Jose Mourinho. Alli may have suffered a similar fate had United made a move. By contrast, Alli won the Premier League Player of the Month award for January:
Tottenham Hotspur @SpursOfficial
Congratulations, @Dele_Alli! @premierleague Player of the Month for January. 👏 #COYS https://t.co/Uw00FuJclm2017-2-10 11:30:03
A £100 million price tag would certainly put Alli out of the reach of most clubs, and Redknapp does not believe that Spurs would be willing to sell—even if United were prepared to top the fee they parted with to bring Pogba back to Old Trafford.
"Obviously, Tottenham don't want to sell him,” he said, per Rumsby. "They're building a new stadium, the stadium's going to be great, and, if they continue to progress, they've got a squad that can win the league in the next year or two. So I'm sure he'd want to be part of that."
Alli is the linchpin of the Spurs side, and their recent success in the league should make it easier to keep the likes of Alli and Harry Kane at the club over the coming years. Pochettino's team are no longer in the running for the Premier League title, but they are currently two points above United.
They may have to put a fight, however. Alli is a target of Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid and Manchester City, according to a report by Neil Fissler in the Express. Pep Guardiola is ready to launch a "world-record" bid, per Fissler, which would appear to verify Redknapp's valuation of the youngster.
Eric Dier has also responded to the mounting speculation over Alli's future, arguing that he would be "just an asset" for the top clubs, who do not take care of their youngsters, per James Dale for Sky Sports. "I think he's at the perfect place," Dier added.
Transfer speculation is likely to persist for the remainder of the season, but any thoughts of a big-money move must be put to the back of Alli's mind. Spurs are still competing for the Europa League and FA Cup; they will need their star midfielder fully focused if Spurs are to add a trophy to the cabinet for the first time since their Carling Cup triumph in 2008.