Pochettino surprised at Dele Alli's PFA Award omission

While he is not shortlisted for Player of the Year, he is up for the young player equivalent

BY Raf Diallo 16:16 Thursday 13 April 2017, 16:16 13 Apr 2017

Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino congratulates Dele Alli as he is substituted off. Picture by John Walton EMPICS Sport

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino believes Dele Alli should have been nominated for the Professional Footballers' Association Player of the Year award.

The midfielder is only up for the Young Player prize which he also won last season.

His Spurs team-mate Harry Kane is nominated on both shortlists.

Pochettino thinks Alli could have been shortlisted for both awards too.

"There are better players now and it's a better standard. In my opinion he deserved a place in the shortlist," he said.

"After his first season, people wanted to him perform again in his second season. He's not only confirmed that – he's improved in all aspects in his game.

"He's clever and intelligent. He has the potential to improve and learn. He's shown he's one of the best players in the Premier League."

Six players have been shortlisted for the Player of the Year prize:

Men’s PFA Players’ Player of the Year 2017

  • Eden Hazard - Chelsea
  • Zlatan Ibrahimović - Manchester United
  • Harry Kane - Tottenham Hotspur
  • N'Golo Kanté - Chelsea
  • Romelu Lukaku - Everton
  • Alexis Sánchez - Arsenal

Alli scored 10 Premier League goals for Tottenham last season but has bettered that significantly after notching 16 so far this campaign.

With Alli not on the Player of the Year shortlist, Pochettino has backed Kane to triumph after a season in which he has 19 league goals despite two periods of absences due to injury.

"I think he should win – he deserves it," said his manager.

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