Neil Humphreys: Spurs must keep Alli at all costs
Alli, a perfect mix of brains and brawn, must not be sold at all costs
Ignore the spin-doctors. Superstars are thin on the grounds around the English Premier League.
There was a time when the place was littered with global greats, when Eric Cantona was King, the Invincibles ran riot and Beckham-mania ruled the world.
But the era of superstardom arguably ended when Gareth Bale followed Cristiano Ronaldo down the yellow brick road to Real Madrid.
The best belonged to the Bernabeu, Barcelona and Bayern Munich. The EPL was lumbered with the best of the rest.
For that reason alone, Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy must suppress every natural instinct and keep Dele Alli at all costs.
Real president Florentino Perez has reportedly dispatched his vultures to circle White Hart Lane, waving chequebooks and promising untold riches.
But Tottenham, so impressive in the 2-0 win over Chelsea yesterday morning (Singapore time), must stand firm. History cannot repeat itself.
To state the bleeding obvious, a Bale-led Spurs might be dominating English football now.
It's a big statement for us, but we're happy to stay under the radar and keep taking each game as it comes.Tottenham's two-goal hero Dele Alli
In the end, Real's money did the talking.
But Alli's boots are made for winning. He also has a head for heights.
His two outstanding headers against Chelsea ended the visitors' bid for a record-breaking 14 wins and reignited Tottenham's title challenge.
He is a player with a lot of aggression in attack, ruthless and determined when he goes forward, which makes him extra dangerous... He is a master at attacking spaces.Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino
The 20-year-old is built like a midfield monster and increasingly playing like one.
His intoxicating mix of brains and brawn was too much for Chelsea's back three, exposing the Blues' inherent defensive weaknesses that forced Antonio Conte to implement his radical tactical experiment in the first place.
Cesar Azpilicueta, a full 10cm shorter than Alli (1.88m), isn't a natural centre back any more than Victor Moses is a disciplined right back.
Both went AWOL the moment they were matched against a superior opponent.
But then, Alli is superior to most. If his career continues on such a rapid upward trajectory, he will soon be superior to all.
His stats tell part of the tale. He now has seven goals in four appearances. He has netted 20 times from just 52 EPL matches.
He's often nowhere near the penalty box when Mauricio Pochettino lays out Spurs' formation - and certainly nowhere near his peak - and yet his manager has tweaked the tactics to accommodate the kid who can't stop scoring.
In recent weeks, Alli stood almost beside Harry Kane in a line-up that closely resembled a 3-5-2. Pochettino tinkered to serve his rising titan.
With Christian Eriksen supplying Alli on both occasions with two sumptuous crosses, excitable comparisons between him and Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta are understandable, if a tad premature.
But the Englishman certainly has an undeniable physical advantage over the Barca greats.
He's a ballerina built like the Bronx Bull; twinkle-toed on the floor and a towering inferno in the air.
The maverick has a Jordanesque ability to hang in the air until his markers simply fall away.
In this regard, Ronaldo would be the more obvious comparison, further justifying Real's growing obsession with Alli.
He may not quite emulate Eden Hazard with the ball at his feet, but he's getting closer.
And the Belgian will never rival Alli's aerial ability or his rambunctious physical displays.
Alli has already changed the complexion of the title race and will determine the outcome of others, as long as he stays at Spurs.
EPL superstars are rare these days. Homegrown heroes are practically non-existent. Alli is the obvious exception.
He must not be allowed to leave.
As Tottenham's approach against Chelsea demonstrated, Pochettino is slowly building his side around the young Englishman.
Spurs may not win the title with Alli this season, but they will win nothing without him.
Dele Alli has reached 20 goals in just 52 English Premier League games. By comparison, Paul Scholes took 74, David Beckham took 90, Frank Lampard’s came in 140 and Steven Gerrard needed 169 games to reach that early milestone.