Football: Pochettino cannot vouch for Alli to stay a Spur

Tottenham's Dele Alli has been in scintillating form. He is the highest-scoring midfielder in the league.
Tottenham's Dele Alli has been in scintillating form. He is the highest-scoring midfielder in the league.PHOTO: REUTERS

Argentinian asks for trust for club to continue on upward trajectory

LONDON • Tottenham coach Mauricio Pochettino admitted he cannot promise Dele Alli will stay at the club and insisted that nothing should distract the club from the Premier League title race.

Second-placed Spurs will attempt to close the gap on leaders Chelsea when they travel to in-form Crystal Palace today. Tottenham go into the final six games of the season amid speculation that Alli, Kyle Walker and Danny Rose could leave the club in the summer.

Asked specifically whether Alli - named PFA Young Player of the Year for the second time in a row on Sunday - would remain at White Hart Lane next season, Pochettino told a press conference yesterday: "I cannot guarantee anything in life. The most important is to try to enjoy the present.

"Don't think too much about the future. In the future we will take the best decision for the club.

"In almost three years for the club you can see us constantly improving and every decision we've taken so far has been good. Trust in the club that we will take the best decision for the club to try to achieve things, to improve next season again."

His immediate concern is Palace, who have James Tomkins, Scott Dann, and Connor Wickham ruled out of today's clash through injury.

  • DELE ALLI IN 2016-17

    EPL GOALS

    16

    EPL ASSISTS

    5

    FA CUP GOALS

    3

"It will be a tough game," added the Argentinian. "I speak very highly about the team and the impact of Sam Allardyce on the team. They are playing very well. They have very good players."

Deep in relegation trouble when Sam Allardyce took charge in December, Palace have climbed seven points clear of the bottom three thanks to a series of shock wins.

After beating Chelsea and Arsenal, Sunday's 2-1 win at Liverpool was Palace's latest scalp, but the Eagles boss wants his team to keep their foot on the gas against Tottenham because he does not believe they are safe yet.

"We're top of the league in terms of form - there is probably only Tottenham and Leicester as good as us in terms of what we've achieved over the past seven or eight games. We're in fantastic form," he said.

"Thirty-eight points has been the target to be safe for a long time but we're not mathematically safe yet. Five games to go, we need to pick up as many points as we can. Then when we are safe we will have a little celebration."

Ben Davies, who did not start the FA Cup semi-final defeat by Chelsea, may return to the Spurs team today as there are doubts over fellow defender Rose who continues his recovery from a knee ligament injury.

Michel Vorm, Harry Winks and Erik Lamela remain unavailable for the trip to Selhurst Park.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 26, 2017, with the headline 'Pochettino cannot vouch for Alli to stay a Spur'. Print Edition | Subscribe