sport news Dele Alli's devil discussed by Redknapp, Sutton and Keown

Dele Alli was at the centre of attention again this week, following yet another controversial on-field incident while playing for England.

Following a brief stoppage in play the midfielder flipped the middle finger to his team-mate Kyle Walker, in a gesture which initially appeared to be aimed at the referee.

As the debate about the devil inside Dele rears it's head once again, Sportsmail's three wise men Jamie Redknapp, Chris Sutton and Martin Keown have their say... 

Dele Alli was once again involved in a controversial on-field moment for England this week

Dele Alli was once again involved in a controversial on-field moment for England this week

The midfielder could be seen flipping the middle finger to his team-mate Kyle Walker

The midfielder could be seen flipping the middle finger to his team-mate Kyle Walker

Jamie Redknapp

I was no troublemaker but if I was playing now I would have been shown far more red cards.

The only time I was sent off was for Liverpool at Coventry in 1992 but there are plenty more times I should have been given my marching orders. Now, cameras capture every move you make and I would have been caught out on more than one occasion.

There were times when the red mist would descend and you would fly into a two-footed tackle to try to get someone back. Other times I would get so frustrated that I would swear at my own supporters.

Jamie Redknapp acknowledges that although a lovely kid, Alli's devil leads to mad moments

Jamie Redknapp acknowledges that although a lovely kid, Alli's devil leads to mad moments

In 2000, I scored a late winner for Liverpool against Newcastle having just come off the bench. I had recently returned from injury and was furious that Gerard Houllier had kept me stewing on the sidelines for most of the match.

After heading in Danny Murphy’s corner, I ran straight for Houllier to tell him exactly what I thought. I was so overcome with anger that I needed my team-mates to restrain me.

You look back and think: ‘That’s not me, I’m not that sort of person.’ You cannot put a finger on why you behaved that way.

It is the same with Dele Alli.

Dele is a lovely kid. But he also has a devilish side which has led to moments of madness on the pitch. Although he has to control this part of his game, we must not try to knock it out of him.

He has a level of aggression and hunger that is lacking in so many young English players. For many youngsters in academies everything is handed to them on a plate but Dele has had to graft his way to the top.

A rush of emotion once made Redknapp want to give his boss a piece of his mind after scoring

A rush of emotion once made Redknapp want to give his boss a piece of his mind after scoring

Of course his childish gesture on Monday set a bad example, and on another day it could have seen him sent off. With Dele, there is always the risk that he could cost England at a tournament.

But that same streak is what drives him to conjure those moments of magic that will win

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