Spurs boss highlights value of homegrown talent as Dele Alli wins PFA Young Player of the Year award

Mauricio Pochettino believes it is important that Tottenham are represented by homegrown players such as Dele Alli, who has been crowned the PFA Players’ Young Player of the Year.

Alli is the fourth British Spurs man to win the Young Player prize in the last five years, following in the footsteps of Harry Kane (2015), Gareth Bale (2013) and Kyle Walker (2012).

Meanwhile, Kane was shortlisted for the senior Player of the Year prize and Danny Rose has been named in the PFA Premier League Team of the Year.

Their fellow England internationals Walker and Eric Dier have also been key players in Spurs’ title bid, while Ryan Mason, Kieran Trippier, Josh Onomah and Tom Carroll have played their parts too.

“When I arrived in Spain I was the same - it’s important to give possibilities to the national players,” said Pochettino.

“I believe in all the players, I don’t see the passport. But it is important if you are in England, Spain, Italy or France to show respect and to keep the identity of the club.

“In the end we are an English club and for me it is important to provide a good balance in between the players and to keep the culture. We live in England, English culture is important.

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“It is important for the foreign players that come here. You need to integrate yourself into the culture and not the other way round.

“But it’s not only about English players or different nationalities. It’s about good professionals - not only the passports but good professionals. If they’re English, good, but it is important to keep the identity and culture, and to have very good players like we do now.

“The fans love it, not just because they’re English but because they show respect to the crowd and to the badge. The fans show big respect for Hugo Lloris and he is French. When you are professional and you show respect to the club, this is important and the real value and the supporters recognise that.”

It has not been plain sailing for all of Spurs’ English talents this season. Alex Pritchard missed the first half of the season due to injury and has struggled to get any playing time during an unsuccessful loan spell with West Bromwich Albion.

The 22-year-old moved to The Hawthorns in January but has only made three substitute appearances.

Pochettino said: “It’s difficult now to be focused on him. He’s been a little bit unlucky because he moved to West Bromwich and really doesn’t have the opportunity to play too much.

“I think he feels disappointed, we are very disappointed too, but we will speak in the next few weeks. We [will] feel his ideas and after we take some decisions, sure, in the next few weeks, after the season.”

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