Alli ‘most experienced’ U20 in Europe

Dele Alli

Alli has played 39 games for Spurs so far this season

Tottenham’s Dele Alli has played more domestic league games than any other player aged 20 or under in Europe’s ‘big five’ leagues.

The CIES Football Observatory has drawn up a list of the players with most league appearances by year of birth.

It says 19-year-old Alli’s 98 games for Spurs and MK Dons are the most for a player born in 1996 or later.

The list is dominated by Premier League players ahead of their rivals in Spain, Germany, Italy and France.

Among players born in 1985 or later, only one player has more games under his belt than Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney – Bournemouth defender Simon Francis with 460 games.

Everton’s Romelu Lukaku, 22, tops the list for players born after 1993, having played 210 games so far for the Toffees, Anderlecht, Chelsea and West Brom.

Of players born after 1991, Chelsea’s Eden Hazard has played 277 games, just ahead of Liverpool’s Nathaniel Clyne.

Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink has urged doctors at the Football Association and Premier League clubs to put pressure on the game’s authorities to reduce the number of fixtures played by clubs in English competitions.

Chelsea face four games in the next 12 days across three competitions, and Hiddink says the players need more protection.

But former Chelsea doctor Ralph Rogers told BBC Radio 5 live on Monday that was unrealistic.

“I appreciate his concern but it’s all market driven. People want football,” he said.

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