Alli shows Town the way

Dele Alli pressures Gareth EvansDele Alli pressures Gareth Evans
Dele Alli pressures Gareth Evans
Fleetwood Town boss Graham Alexander wants to see the club produce their own Premier League-bound talent, having seen the devastating power of MK Dons’ Dele Alli.

The 19-year-old completed a move from Stadium MK to Tottenham in January for over £5m, then was loaned back to the Dons.

His quality was clear in Tuesday night’s 3-0 victory at Highbury, in which he scored.

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Fleetwood are playing catch-up in terms of developing their own talent but Alexander knows just how lucrative it can be to nurture a top-flight star.

“The money in that deal is astromomical,” the manager said. “But you look at his physical attributes, his ability – that’s why he’s going to the Premier League.

“You look at League One players and think there will be deficiencies in their game. You look at that lad and think, ‘Where’s the deficiency?’ He’s top-notch.”

Town only established their own development squad at the start of this campaign, though it has already produced results – Tyler Forbes, Nick Haughton and Ashley Hunter have all had chances in the first team.

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Alexander knows the hard work is yet to come if Fleetwood are to establish a proper youth production line.

He said: “MK Dons have been doing this for 10 years. We’re chasing a lot of clubs in that respect. This is the beginning of us producing our own players at this club.

“We want to get the facilities to enable us to do that and the coaches. You look at Dele Alli and that’s what we want to do as a club.”

And Alexander believes the will is there at Highbury, with the wheels already in motion to make talent development the top priority.

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“We’ve had a lot of conversations with the chairman and it excites him,” the manager added.

“He wants to produce players who have come through the Fleetwood way, who have an affinity for the club but will be given the opportunity to go on to bigger and better things if that chance comes.

“It will encourage us as a club to bring the right players in. I feel it’s an exciting time for the club.

“It’s a change of direction a little from the last 10 years but I think there’s a lot of success to be had that way.”