Tottenham can sign the next Dele Alli for free this summer after huge Liverpool transfer mistake

Dele Alli’s deadline day switch to Everton proved a bittersweet moment for many Tottenham supporters.

Alli signed a two-and-a-half-year deal at Goodison Park as he aims to reignite what was a stalling career at Tottenham.

Spurs could eventually earn up to £40million from the transfer, a sizeable chunk for a player who has struggled to secure regular first-team minutes.

Yet even so, Alli was a popular figure in North London and many fans are left disappointed at his departure.

Although it now feels but a distant memory, Alli had an almost instantaneous impact upon joining the club back in 2015 from MK Dons.

He thrived playing in behind the striker at the top end of his side’s attack, picking the ball up in dangerous areas and threading passes into the box, or making late runs of his own into the penalty area to work himself into good shooting locations.

He scooped back-to-back PFA Young Player of the Year awards during his first two full Premier League campaigns, thanks in large to scoring a combined 28 Premier League goals and further 16 league assists.

Although he tailed off in more recent years, particularly following the departure of Mauricio Pochettino, it’s interesting to note that right now, there’s a player boasting an eerily similar profile to Alli at his best, and somewhat coincidently he will be available for a free transfer in this summer.

Elsewhere on deadline day, Liverpool made a late move for Fulham attacker Fabio Carvalho.

A fee was agreed and it seemed as though the Merseysiders had landed their man. However, relevant paperwork was not submitted before the 11pm deadline and subsequently, the deal fell through.

This has inadvertently presented Spurs with a huge opportunity in the summer. Particularly because that was Fulham’s final opportunity to recoup a fee for Carvalho who can leave on a free at the end of this season when his current contract expires.

It was also potentially Liverpool’s best chance to sign the Carvalho before a flood of other competitive offers come his way in the summer. And if Spurs are wise, they’ll be one of the clubs vying for the teenager’s signature.

At 19, he’s at a similar age to what Alli was when he joined the club, and his profile is almost identical too.

Whilst he featured four times for the Cottagers in the Premier League last season, it’s in this campaign in which he’s gone on to be a revelation for Fulham, already scoring eight Championship goals and registering four assists.

Fabio Carvalho
Fabio Carvalho of Fulahm

At Craven Cottage, Carvalho usually plays as a number ten inside Marco Silva’s favoured 4-2-3-1 formation.

Although just 19, his ability to drop in between the lines and receive the ball, often on the turn and in dangerous areas makes him a real asset for his team as they aim to play through the lines.

And once in these areas, Carvalho has a range of skills that allow him to cause serious problems for opposition defences.

Physically he’s different to Alli in that he’s not the biggest, standing at just 5ft 7ins. However, he’s deceivingly strong and difficult to dislodge off the ball.

He also boasts standout pace which aids his impressive dribbling ability – this season he has averaged 4.4 dribbles per 90, with a success rate of 60%.

The teenager has also got an excellent eye for a pass, even despite usually operating in congested areas of the pitch. This is a point is captured not only by his assist return but also by his average of 1.7 passes leading to a shot on goal per 90 this season.

His ability to thread dangerous balls into the box whilst also being able to run at and dribble through a defence make him a multi-faceted threat in attack, particularly when you throw in his own goal threat too.

Although it’s a tired cliché in football to label any prospect ‘the next…(insert generational talent)’, there are legitimate similarities between Carvalho and Alli when he first came to the club.

And he could well go on to be somewhat of a reincarnation of Alli for Spurs if they opted to make a move.

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