Tottenham star Dele Alli has told Sky Sports he does not think too much about his future but that he owes much of his success to “father figure” Mauricio Pochettino.
Last month, Alli was crowned PFA Young Player of the Year for the second season running after scoring 21 goals in another standout campaign.
The 21-year-old England international signed a new six-year contract until 2022 in September but his future remains a talking point and he has been linked with big money moves to Real Madrid, Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain.
But Alli, who joined Spurs from League One club MK Dons in summer 2015, said: “It’s important you enjoy the journey, whether I end up at Tottenham for the next 15 years and retire here.
“I think it’s important for me not to get too carried away by what will happen in the future. The way football is, anything can happen at any time. I will enjoy my time here now. Who knows what will happen in the future?
“I was always confident and when I signed for Tottenham I was looking for a manager that had the same sort of philosophy to my manager at Milton Keynes. I owe a lot of credit and thanks to Pochettino for the way he put me in straight away and put a lot of trust in me. As a player that gives you a lot of belief.
“He’s a very passionate guy, an unbelievable manager. Nobody in our team would say a bad word about him. His door is always open, not just for football either. He is a father figure to the players. The thing people respect him most for, no matter who you are, he’s not afraid to drop anyone. If you take your foot off the gas or have a bad attitude, he will let you know straight away. You have to work hard to be a part of his team.”
Alli will line up for Tottenham’s in Sunday’s match against Manchester United — the last-ever game at White Hart Lane, the club’s home since 1899. And he insists January’s 2-0 win against champions Chelsea, in which he scored twin headers, is his favourite memory of the old stadium.
“My personal one is the Chelsea game — the two headers,” he said. “At that point, I was just scoring headers! That and the Arsenal game [a 2-0 win on April 30], the recent one. It was the first time I won the north London derby. And the Watford game [on April 8] because I scored a good goal and it was just before my birthday. It is probably the best goal I have scored at White Hart Lane.
“It needs to be a big performance from us [on Sunday]. It’s one of those games you don’t really need to do too much talking before. The atmosphere will speak for itself and that should motivate us enough. As players we all want to win for the fans as well as ourselves. We owe a lot to them for the way they have supported us this season.
“There is so much history around the club and so much history at that stadium, for me there’s been so many great games. Hopefully it will be a big win for us and an important three points.”
Spurs will play all of next season’s home matches at Wembley, where they have won one once in five matches this season, and Alli said: “I don’t think it is going to be a problem. Maybe some of the players weren’t used to it playing in the Champions League.
“We can’t blame it on Wembley. We weren’t playing as well as we should have been and that could have happened anywhere. It’s a great stadium, a great pitch and it will be perfect for us next season.”
Dan is ESPN FC’s Tottenham correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Dan_KP.