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Alli's rapid rise is one of the success stories of the EPL

England's next big thing: Dele Alli one of the success stories in the English Premier League

Alli's rapid rise is one of the success stories of the EPL

MANCHESTER, England (AP) -- It was difficult to make any sporting conclusions from Tuesday's emotionally charged friendly between England and France, four days after the Paris attacks that killed at least 129 people.

Yet, even in the circumstances, it was hard to ignore the performance of goal-scoring England midfielder Dele Alli, who many are saying could be the next big thing in the English Premier League.

Alli -- an all-action, box-to-box, 19-year-old midfielder -- has been one of the success stories of the season in England, and is being compared by some to former Liverpool star Steven Gerrard.

It's a rapid rise for a player who was playing in England's third tier for MK Dons as recently as May, and started this season on the bench for new club Tottenham. Now, Alli is a regular starter for Spurs and seemingly assured of his place in England's squad after scoring a long-range opener in the 2-0 win over France and being named man of the match.

"It's been a crazy start to the season," Alli said. "It's all happened really quickly."

Playing under manager Mauricio Pochettino at Tottenham will only help his development. Pochettino is always keen to give chances to English youngsters, demonstrating that during his time at Southampton and now at Spurs, where Eric Dier, Ryan Mason, and Harry Kane are also young and important members of the squad.

Alli has started the last eight games for Tottenham and the team hasn't lost, helping it climb to fifth in the standings ahead of Sunday's home match against West Ham. Alli's rise from nowhere mirrors that of Kane last season, with the striker a regular for club and country after scoring 32 goals in the 2014-15 campaign.

Here are some more things to know ahead of the 13th round:


WENGER PRAISE: Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has thanked English football for showing "great solidarity" toward France after the Paris attacks last Friday.

Wenger was at Wembley Stadium on Tuesday when England played France. Fans from both countries sang the French national anthem during a moving, eight-minute pre-game ceremony that included floral tributes and both sets of players standing together around the center circle for a minute's silence.

"The football world has responded the way you want it to respond in a big union and togetherness," Wenger said on Thursday ahead of his side's match against West Bromwich Albion.

Wenger was in Paris when the terrorists struck across the French capital. He was due to attend France vs. Germany at the Stade de France, which was a target in the attacks, but a last-minute change of plans meant he watched the game on television from his hotel.

Another French manager in the Premier League, Aston Villa's Remi Garde, said his daughter was in Paris during the attacks.

"She was not near the place where it happened," Garde said. "She stayed in the apartment and understood quite quickly it was not the night to be out in Paris. We speak every day on the phone. I have seen her and my family since."

AGUERO HOPEFUL: Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero says he could return after seven games out because of injury for Saturday's home match against Liverpool, which is the pick of the weekend fixtures.

Aguero was injured while on international duty with Argentina last month.

"I do hope I can play this game," said Aguero, who was in full training this week. "I'm doing everything in my power to get to the match in top condition."

City winger Raheem Sterling will play against Liverpool for the first time since leaving the club in the summer.

City leads the Premier League, on goal difference from Arsenal

MARTIAL CONCERN: Anthony Martial could be doubtful for Manchester United for its match against Watford after leaving Wembley Stadium on crutches after the England vs. France game.

Martial's left foot was bandaged as he hobbled out of the stadium, having been substituted in the 67th minute of the game.

France coach Didier Deschamps said Martial's injury was a "knock to the top of his foot."

Updated : 2021-09-21 07:04 GMT+08:00