Ashley Young has noted that it would be nice to see Dele Alli again after the two confronted each other during Manchester United’s 1-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur last month.
The Englishman, in an attempt to wind up the notoriously fiery midfielder, told him to ‘let me know when you’ve won the Prem’ as he walked away from a spat.
Alli then proceeded to fluff the best chance of the game for the visitors before Anthony Martial scored the winner just a few minutes later.
And Young, speaking soon after being called up to the national side for friendlies with Germany and Brazil, noted that such exchanges were part and parcel of the Premier League’s very nature.
“It would be nice to see him,” he said.
“Things happen on football pitches. Once the game is finished, you don’t need to talk afterwards. That’s just how it is. He’s a confident player and that gives him that edge.”
Young’s chirp to Alli may even eclipse Marcus Rashford‘s ‘sssshhh, are you the ref?’ comment to John Guidetti last season, if only because the former remark was a clear – and perhaps successful – attempt to get under Alli’s skin.
The pair will probably enjoy a few amicable conversations as they train together for the very first time this week. They do, after all, share a valuable trait that has helped them in their respective careers: an authentic fighting spirit.
Off the pitch, they both come across as friendly individuals, but when the action begins they will do whatever it takes to get one over on the opposition. Literally everything. Even just small things: snide comments, a cheeky elbow, the occasional piece of simulation.
They are winners right down to their core and, just as importantly, truly believe in what they do. And as an England fan, you cannot help but wonder where the national side would be if such a mentality was actively encouraged from an early age on a wider scale.