Alli out to emulate Gerrard

We all remember Steven Gerrard’s first senior England goal.

Germany v England

U19 International
5pm GMT Monday 8 September 2014
Stadion Niederrhein
Oberhausen, Germany

 A fabulous half-volley in Munich back in 2001 which put his side 2-1 ahead and set the Three Lions on the way to a victory we will never forget.

On Monday night another England team travels to Germany – John Peacock’s U19s.

Childhood Liverpool fan Deli Alli, who has enjoyed an impressive goalscoring run for MK Dons, admits he would like nothing more than to emulate his hero and break his international duck in Oberhausen.

“It’s something I have been thinking about to be honest,” Alli told TheFA.com.

“I’ve had a few chances when I’ve been playing for England and I feel like they’ve been easy chances, but I’ve just been messing up so I can’t wait to get off the mark.

“I am actually a Liverpool fan and Gerrard is someone I look up to massively.

“If the ball drops for me on Monday like it did for him against Germany, I’m smashing it.

“If I get the goal I’ll obviously be happy but the win is all that matters.”

The tall midfielder goes on to tell us how he loves watching top players in top leagues and trying to learn from their style of play.

He admits to having spent plenty of time watching videos of Gerrard but when asked whether he feels his style reflects that of the former England captain a smile forms on his face.

“Harry Winks and I were talking about who I play like and he was trying to tell me I’m like Fernandinho but I’m not having that,” he says before telling us with a grin, “I’d prefer to think I’m a cross between Gerrard and Yaya Toure.”

“Harry Winks tries to tell me I’m like Fernandinho…I prefer to think I’m a cross between Yaya Toure and Gerrard.”

Dele Alli England U19s

Alli has enjoyed quite the rise to prominence in the past two years.

After breaking into the MK Dons’ side in 2012-13 he went on to make an impressive 37 appearances in all competitions at the tender age of 17.

And he admits that he surpassed his own expectations.

He added: “Last year I set myself a target of making 10 appearances and, in the end, I outdid myself by some distance but this year I’ve got more expectations.

“I was out for eight weeks with an ankle injury which put me back a bit but it gave me a lot of time to work on my upper body strength because, before that, I was a bit weak and a bit fragile.

“Mentally I feel like I can deal with a lot more now as well.”

Alli’s progress has also been good on the international scene, having seamlessly moved from the U17s into the U18s and now the 18-year old finds himself a part of the U19s set up.

And the Dons’ midfielder has lofty ambitions with England, too.

He said: “Every kid wants to play for their country. It’s a great honour and I feel really privileged to be here.

“But obviously you want to target getting into that first team and that’s what I’m aiming for.”