Did Liverpool dodge a bullet by not signing Dele Alli five years back?

How fast time flies! A year back, it felt like Liverpool have made a disastrous error by not signing Dele Alli when they had the chance. Now, it looks like they actually dodged a bullet. 

Around five years ago, Liverpool were the frontrunners to sign the then teenage sensation Alli from MK Dons, with the player personally meeting their manager, Brendan Rodgers. 

He even got a guided tour of the Melwood training facility and it looked like Liverpool were only a few formalities away from signing the talented midfielder.  

Alli is a boyhood Liverpool fan and grew up idolising Reds legend and then club skipper Steven Gerrard. So, the deal looked all but done. 

However, an internal transfer committee disagreement over his value scuppered the deal from being concluded. Spurs made good use of the situation and signed the promising teenager in January 2015 with a clause that saw him getting loaned back to MK Dons for the rest of the season. 

From the very start of the next season when Spurs got their hands on the player, the £5m looked like one of the bargains of the century. The youngster lit up the Premier League in his debut campaign that saw him score ten goals and provide nine assists. 

The next season, Alli grew even stronger as he notched 22 goals in all competitions as Spurs finished second in the Premier League. Missing out on him was something every Liverpool fan regretted at that point of time. 

Alli's potential looked frightening as he followed up with another brilliant campaign in the 2017/18 season. He plundered 14 goals and created 17 for his teammates and looked like one of the best young players on the planet. 

The Englishman starred either as a traditional number ten or as a second striker behind Harry Kane. His delicate flicks, his tricks and turns and his ability to make late runs into the box to be in goalscoring positions became his trademark. 

However, the midfielder experienced a huge fall in form in the 2018/19 season. And, this season has been even worse for him so far. The 23-year-old now looks like a shadow of the player he used to be. 

The former MK Dons star now finds himself battling for a place, even in a struggling Tottenham side. He has also been overlooked by Gareth Southgate for the England national team. 

The likes of Mason Mount and Ross Barkley are favoured in the attacking midfield role by Gareth Southgate. James Maddison is also making a strong case for himself with the kind of form he is in for Leicester City. 

It would still be unfair to say that Liverpool dodged a bullet by not signing Alli. It must not be forgotten that he is still just 23 years of age. Alli has 54 goals and 49 assists to his name in 191 games for Spurs till date which is an excellent record. 

He still has time on his side and has the quality to completely turn his fortunes. However, Liverpool's woes of missing out on him does not look as bad as it looked a few years back.

Cover image courtesy - Talksport

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