Tottenham Hotspur attacking midfielder Dele Alli says he is immune to criticism although he feels gratified at how quickly he has achieved success in the Premier League.
Alli’s scoring form has dipped in 2017/18 as he has managed just six league goals compared to the 18 he tallied in 2016/17.
However, he has managed nine assists which is more than the seven he totaled in the entirety of the previous campaign.
Ahead of Tottenham trip to Chelsea on Sunday, he revealed he doesn’t listen to critics or feel burdened by their words. Speaking to Sky Sports, the 21-year-old said: “There are a lot of opinions, people say a lot in the media and online, but I’m numb to it now.
“Growing up, you have to fight every day, coming into the Premier League you have to fight for your place in the team, and same as an international.
“Every player is different (in dealing with criticism), I think it’s all about your focus, what your focus is. Some people might focus a lot on what people are saying about them, which can take the focus away from the football. It can impact you.
“But for me, I’ve never worried too much about what people think. If you have confidence in yourself, you know yourself, better than anyone, when you have that, what other people say, automatically you are numb to it.”
The England star added he was taken aback about how fast his career has progressed, saying: “There are times when you step back and think about what you’ve done, how different your life was three or four years ago.
“I remember when I was playing at MK Dons, me and Benik Afobe (Bournemouth striker on loan at Wolves) would always say: ‘Imagine playing in the Premier League!’
“But at the same time you think this is what you’ve been working for all the time. Every step I was making at MK, everything was to get to this moment, so I’m not surprised, in a sense, that it happened.”