Against Southampton in Gameweek 17, Bamidele “Dele” Alli scored his second goal in three matches. In the process he started a small Saturday evening buying frenzy, with more than 13,000 Fantasy Premier League managers having brought him in at the time of writing – more than double the number for the next most popular midfielder.
I looked at Alli after Gameweek 12 and quite liked what I saw, but I was a cautious about the potential impact on his game time of team mates returning from injury. The Tottenham Hotspur midfielder did miss the Gameweek 14 clash against Chelsea through suspension but he has otherwise retained his place despite most of the potential rivals for his spot returning to fitness. As Alli is only 19, it’s still possible that his manager, Mauricio Pochettino, might chose to rest or rotate him at some point, but it does look as if he is beginning to make a place in the team his own.
The Premier League statistics look fairly healthy for the young England international. The rate at which he converts shots, shots in the box and shots on target into goals is a touch high, but his ratio of shots on target to shots is near the league norm. Ideally he would be taking a slightly higher proportion of his shots in the box, but it’s hard to get too picky about a young midfielder who will only set an FPL manager back 5.1m. The rate at which the chances he creates have been converted into assists is close to the league standard too.
Alli is not in the elite tier, or the second tier, of Premier League midfielders for most of his metrics, but his price isn’t either. If an FPL manager has sufficient team value that they can afford a 5.1m fifth midfielder, he looks a good option that carries a threat and could happily step in when another midfielder has a tough fixture. With Riyad Mahrez cemented into many FPL teams at a fourth midfielder price, it’s questionable whether many managers have need of another fourth midfielder but if they do Alli could also be an option. However, he should probably be weighed more carefully against other alternatives in that price bracket.