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2017/2018 Season

2 Man Utd 25 6 7 81
3 Tottenham 23 8 7 77
4 Liverpool 21 12 5 75
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Dele Alli has been handled with care at Tottenham - Mauricio Pochettino

Tottenham coach Mauricio Pochettino admits Dele Alli needs to be handled with care, but sees no reason the teenager cannot continue his remarkable form until the end of the season.

Alli, 19, enhanced his growing reputation with a brilliantly-taken equaliser in first-half stoppage time as Spurs drew 1-1 with Everton at Goodison Park on Sunday.

The goal capped another eye-catching display from the teenager, who was fighting for League One promotion with MK Dons this time last year.

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The midfielder has missed just one league game -- the 0-0 draw with Chelsea, through suspension -- since making his Tottenham debut, and scored on his full England bow against France in November.

Pochettino described Alli's latest strike as "fantastic," before telling a news conference: "From the beginning we have had to take care with him. That is important when they are young, to handle them in a good way."

Asked if Alli could continue to star for Tottenham until the end of the campaign, the Argentine replied: "Yes -- if he shows in every training session he deserves to play, why not?"

Dele Alli has bagged five goals and three assists in 18 Premier League appearances for Tottenham this season.

Meanwhile, Everton coach Roberto Martinez said it was "a joy" to see so many English players starring on Merseyside.

Both the Toffees and Spurs fielded six Englishmen and the displays of Alli, John Stones, Ross Barkley, Eric Dier and even Tom Carroll must have pleased England manager Roy Hodgson.

"Ross gave the most mature performance he has had in three years," said Martinez. "It was a joy to see so many English and British players in both sides with young ages with a lot of big roles in the game: Ross, John Stones, Deli Alli and Harry Kane.

"It is important they play in games like today. Some of experience is needed, but the talent is there for England."

With Euro 2016 looming, focus will continue to intensify on England's available talents and, despite Martinez's comments, Jamie Carragher believes Alli's display has further helped him surpass Barkley in the international pecking order.

Harry Kane and Tottenham were left ruing their missed opportunity to collect another three points on Sunday at Everton.
Harry Kane was just one of a number of English players in action at Goodison Park.

"You think about his performance and his goal against France. Now I expect him to be in the England squad, I actually think now he's in the team," Carragher said on Sky Sports.

"I think Roy [Hodgson] and Gary [Neville], they play three in there. The one who has been playing regularly Ross Barkley, Dele Alli has surpassed Ross today.

"Now I'm a big fan of Barkley but they might be the two who are fighting for one position, that attacking midfield role, if they play three in there."

The former England defender added: "The way he's performed in the France game, the goal he got, you would have to say it's up to someone else now to take that position off him."

Dan is ESPN FC's Tottenham correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Dan_KP.


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