Bamidele Jermaine "Dele" Alli (born 11 April 1996) is an English professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur and the England national team.
Born and raised in Milton Keynes, he joined the youth system at Milton Keynes Dons aged 11 and broke into the first team five years later, during the 2012–13 season. Over the next two-and-a-half years he made 88 official appearances for the team, scoring 24 goals. He signed for Tottenham Hotspur in February 2015 for an initial fee of £5 million, being loaned back to the Dons for the remainder of the season. In his first full campaign at White Hart Lane, Alli was voted the PFA Young Player of the Year. He was ranked 8th in Gazzetta dello Sport best 50 footballers under-20.
Alli played for the England U17, U18 and U19 teams. He made his senior debut in 2015 and was selected for UEFA Euro 2016.
Alli was born and raised in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, to a Yoruba Nigerian father Kenny and English mother Denise. He went to Stantonbury Campus and The Radcliffe School in Wolverton. He joined the youth system at Milton Keynes Dons when he was 11 years old. He made his debut for the first team as a sixteen-year-old on 2 November 2012, coming on as a 64th-minute substitute for Jay O'Shea in a 0–0 draw with Southern Football League club Cambridge City in the FA Cup first round at Milton Road. His first touch in professional football was a back-heeled pass. His first goal came in the replay against Cambridge eleven days later, where he scored in a 6–1 win at Stadium mk on his first start. He made his league debut in the 2–3 defeat to Coventry City at home on 29 December, where he played 71 minutes before being replaced by Zeli Ismail. His only other league appearance in the 2012–13 Football League One season, came as a second-half substitute for Patrick Bamford in the last game of the season, a 2–0 win over Stevenage at Broadhall Way.
Alli has made several appearances at U17 and U18 levels for England. On 27 August 2014, Alli was called up to the England U19 squad following an impressive start to the campaign. He made his debut for England U19 in the 1–1 draw against Germany U19. In the game, Alli assisted the opening goal feeding a through ball to Bradley Fewster who gave England a 1–0 lead.
In February 2015, it was reported that John Fashanu would try to convince Alli to play for Nigeria. However, on 1 October of that year, he was included in Roy Hodgson's England squad for the final UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying matches against Estonia and Lithuania. He made his debut against the former on 9 October, coming on as a late substitute for Ross Barkley in a 2–0 win.
On 17 November 2015, Alli made his first start for the England senior team, scoring the opening goal from a long range shot to beat Spurs teammate, goalkeeper Hugo Lloris in a 2–0 win against France at Wembley Stadium. He was again named in the starting line-up for England's friendly match against world champions Germany on 26 March 2016. Alli was named man of the match by the BBC as England recovered from 0–2 down to win 3–2 at the Berlin Olympiastadion.
Alli was a Liverpool fan growing up, and Steven Gerrard, Jason Puncheon and Yaya Toure were his childhood idols.
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