Arsenal scouted Alli before Tottenham move, claims Wenger

Arsenal scouted Alli before Tottenham move, claims Wenger

Arsenal were interested in signing Dele Alli before
he moved to Tottenham, according to manager
Arsene Wenger.
The England international has excelled since
moving to White Hart Lane from MK Dons in
February 2015 and has twice won the PFA Young
Player of the Year award for his performances in
the Premier League.
Former Liverpool CEO Ian Ayre claimed this week
the Reds had been interested in Alli only to be put
off by what he described as excessive demands
from the player.
And Wenger, who has made a habit of naming top
players that Arsenal have scouted in their younger
days, says Alli was on their radar.
"Yes, I think we looked at him," Wenger told a news
conference ahead of Sunday's derby clash. "We
watched him a few times because we watched a lot
at Milton Keynes.
"He has done extremely well and is a very
complete player. It's marvellous at his age.
They've done well to buy him and to give him a
chance."
A win for Tottenham at White Hart Lane will ensure
Spurs finish above Arsenal in the table for the first
time since Wenger became Gunners boss in 1996.
However, the 67-year-old has rubbished the notion
of a power shift in north London.
"Let's be honest: I've answered that question about
a 'shift' for 18 consecutive years. You can't say
that the merit of one year has the merit of 20," he
said.
"It's certainly one of the few times where Spurs
look favourite in people's minds. It looks a bit like
that but it doesn't matter much to me.
"The priority for us is to finish in the top four. After
that, for pride and for the continuity of our
achievement, we want to fight to be above Spurs.
"I expect an open, committed match at high pace.
There could be goals in there because both teams
play positive football and play in an offensive way.
"We're playing for our future and to continue our
run. We know what is needed from us until the end
of the season so on that front it's quite easy to
prepare.
"I don't think that the top three is decided. But we
have an opportunity to be in there only if we win
our games."
Wenger confirmed that defender Laurent Koscielny
has a "60 per cent" chance of recovering in time
from a knee injury, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
is fully fit.
Shkodran Mustafi remains two weeks away from a
return from thigh problem, however.

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