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(Reuters) - England international and Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Dele Alli is good enough to play for any club in the world, according to Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale, himself a former Tottenham player.
Alli has emerged as a key part of the Tottenham team over the past two seasons and his 16 goals and five assists in the Premier League this season have helped propel Spurs to second in the table, seven points behind leaders Chelsea.
Alli celebrated his 21st birthday only this week and British media are inevitably predicting Spurs will face a battle to hang on to such a talented young player this summer.
"In terms of his ability, he could play wherever he wants. He has achieved so much in a short time that he must have great confidence in his ability to affect games at a high level," Bale told British media.
The Wales international broke the world transfer record when he left Tottenham for Real Madrid in 2013 and his success in Spain has convinced him that more British players should make the move to continental Europe.
"I've loved being part of a different culture and learning new things," Bale added. "You've just got to be open-minded and be prepared to learn a language and experience the unfamiliar.
"But I also understand why some players are reluctant to move. Like a lot of people, some footballers want to stay close to friends and family."
Tottenham host Bournemouth at White Hart Lane in the Premier League on Saturday.
Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru; Editing by Keith Weir