Spurs must unleash Alli 2.0 in Alfie Devine

Tottenham Hotspur have endured a tumultuous season, but one which remains very much alive as they vie for a top-four finish and are still in both the FA Cup and the Champions League.

It has been a campaign marred by a lack of consistency, and it has been further thrown into question of late as Antonio Conte remains out of action as he continues to recover from surgery.

One ongoing frustration from the current campaign is Heung-min Son’s lack of potency up front, with the 30-year-old having netted just four league goals so far. His strike against West Ham United last Sunday was his first in six matches in the Premier League.

This decline in performance from the division’s joint-top scorer last season could perhaps draw parallels with players who have seen similar declines at the club in recent years, with Dele Alli a prime example.

Now playing his football in Turkey, few players took English football by storm in the way that he did as a youngster before his output declined considerably and he faced accusations of laziness from Jose Mourinho.

Fortunately for Spurs and Conte, they could be set to unearth their next iteration of the 26-year-old who once promised so much.

The man poised to emulate the England international is Alfie Devine, with the 18-year-old boasting all the quality and goalscoring know-how of a young Alli.

Who is Alfie Devine?

The teenage sensation has been a mainstay in Spurs’ youth system, having featured heavily for both the U18s and U21s.

It was quickly understood that he was at a level above the former category, as he notched 16 goal contributions in 42 games at the latter level to earn his promotion to the fringes of the senior ranks. He has since featured twice for the first-team, even scoring once

The current campaign has seen him excel once more at an age group way above his station, and the 18-year-old boasts three goals in just four UEFA Youth League matches to truly outline his clinical nature. Indeed, Gallows drummer and long-time Spurs season ticket holder Lee Barratt called for increased game-time for the “baller” last year.

At the peak of his powers, Alli was famed for his decisive ability in front of goal. During the 2016/17 Premier League season, he scored 18 goals and set up a further nine, and he consistently reached double figures for goal contributions in the subsequent three campaigns.

However, his drop-off was dramatic and disappointing as he departed in 2022 on an initial free transfer, with Everton then shipping him out to Besiktas, where he has been jeered by his own club’s supporters.

Should Devine be given some senior experience?





In Devine, all the attributes are in place for a similar succession to a young Alli. The teenager is part of a “bright” crop of youth talent currently Tottenham, as labelled by journalist Alasdair Gold.

Upon his return to the dugout, Conte could perhaps reintegrate this goalscoring midfielder to his senior ranks and offer him vital first-team minutes to allow him to develop into the club’s next Alli.

Cristian Stellini certainly seems to expect a continued presence for Devine in the senior ranks, with injuries in the squad contriving to prompt Conte’s assistant to declare that the youngster is now “part of the squad completely 100 per cent”.