"Dele Alli, Lamela, Son, Llorente, Lucas Moura".
Mauricio Pochettino has acclaimed Dele Alli as the best player for his age in world football.
Looking back as far as the start of the 2014-15 Premier League season, Spurs have played 131 times with the 24-year-old in their ranks, averaging a return of two goals per game and a win rate of 59%.
But manager Mauricio Pochettino expects him to be back this season.
"When you compare him, Dele Alli, a 21-year-old, with all the players in the world I think he is the best in his age", said Pochettino.
"I don't understand why there is still that [sniffy] feeling".
Pochettino's hyperbole invited the comparison between Alli and some of the game's other stellar talents in his age bracket.
Tell me one better than him, one 21-year-old, all that he achieves. Maybe another player says, 'I'm not going to take that risk.' But he's a warrior. Maybe you can find similar or better than him? "I remember there were tremendous cases here when it was foreign players who did it". How does he measure up, for example, to Manchester City's Leroy Sané, who turned 22 in January?More news: Chicago drops out of 2026 World Cup bid, criticizes Federation Internationale de Football Association
But when his name was mentioned, Pochettino replied: "Yes, but this season".
Tottenham's failure to challenge for the title this season and their exit from the Champions League at the last 16 stage means they need to strengthen the squad if they are to challenge for silverware.
"We want to recover him as soon as possible and the professionals here are focused on trying to recover".
"But from the day that he makes his debut with us, in Tottenham, for me, he is one of the best in the world". He's a fantastic player, such a special player. That is my point of view.
"But I promise you, I am the most critical person with my players. It is hard to criticise Dele".
It remains to be seen whether Alli will line up against Swansea City in Saturday's FA Cup quarter-final as he was withdrawn late on against Bournemouth due to a groin issue.
"He's played a lot of games, global games".