Dele Alli's outstanding season told through his Instagram


Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli shot from being the most talked about player in League One to being one of the most talked about players in the country in the space of a year, and it didn't affect his performances one bit.

He's also just pretty great. So here's an Alli fix to keep you going until the Euros.

We'll start back in the summer when Alli knew he'd soon be linking up with Spurs, but had a holiday to enjoy first. The 19-year-old had just won the Football League's Young Player of the Year award and celebrations were pending. Snapbacks were turned back, cameras were turned round. #Marbella15 with the lads.

Anyone who'd seen Alli play for MK Dons knew he deserved an opportunity to play at a higher level, but Alli himself wasn't expecting to be a first team regular in his first season.

Back from holiday and still with no idea how well the following year would go, he got down to work.

The thing about Dele Alli is that you can see his innocence, especially going back to before he was a household name. Part of you thinks he doesn't understand quite how good he is, but then part of you knows he must. All the best footballers know they're better than the majority.

Alli posted this picture from his Premier League debut at Old Trafford with the caption "hopefully many more appearances to come".

His first league goal came a couple of weeks later against Leicester in a 1-1 draw, with neither team knowing the heights their season would reach. But this was still only a few weeks into the season and Alli had other duties to worry about as well as club.

Like the England U21s.

Classic Alli smile there.

Just over a month later he came on for Ross Barkley at Wembley to make his senior debut, writing the same thing on Instagram as he did after his first Spurs appearance: "hopefully many more appearances to come".

We all remember some of the goals he's scored, the people he's nutmegged, and the moments he's lost his temper, but you must not forget one of the most important supporting roles in the Dele Alli story. Eric Dier, and the bromance that blossomed.

"Eric diermo pulling me out the pool today after training (crying face) (alien emoji)".

He also has a dog. Can you imagine being Dele Alli's dog? Dele Alli's dog is probably the world's only dog whose owner is happier to see them when then they get home than the dog is.

Come December and following his first international goal and a few more for Tottenham, the hype was not dying down. This kid, who was playing in League One just a few months ago, was embarrassing defenders and goalies on a weekly basis.

Do you know how you can be sure he's a special player, capable of special moments? The crowd in the background of this picture. When have you ever seen a player celebrating in this fashion away from home and there aren't at least three fans frothing at the mouth, jumping over seats to make sure their two fingers are the ones the goalscorer sees?

Not here. One of the Southampton fans is actually smiling.

But who are any of us without our parents, eh?

Most people might remember Alli's January for that delightful chest and volley against Everton, but we remember it for Alli in goggles.

We also remember it because he took time out of his day to remind us that he's always been better than us. What were you doing when you were 16? Standing outside a shop in the cold, waiting for someone with a kind enough face to buy you cigarettes? Unintentionally aggravating old people on the bus? Dele Alli was scoring FA Cup screamers.

And then after signing a new contract not even a year after signing a five-and-a-half-year deal, what was the most important thing to Alli? Embarrassing his friend on social media. #OneOfUs.

You just can't keep them apart, Alli and Dier.

The love is just that real.

And, after being voted the the PFA Young Player of the Year, 369 days after being voted the Football League's Young Player of the Year, Alli said that "the hard work continues".

The season ended slightly bitterly, with Alli suspended for the final few games after punching Claudio Yacob in the ribs - but that didn't stop his ratings jumping massively on Fifa.

Let's hope there are plenty more Instagram memories to be made this summer in a Three Lions shirt.