Pochettino hails 'top player' Alli

Dele Alli is a top player and crucial for Tottenham, manager Mauricio Pochettino said after his side's EFL Cup win.

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino praised "top player" Dele Alli after the midfielder's goalscoring heroics against Barnsley.

Alli scored a 65th-minute winner to see Spurs past the Championship outfit 1-0 in the third round of the EFL Cup at Wembley on Tuesday.

Pochettino lauded the 21-year-old England international, although the Argentinian said the midfielder was not yet at his best.

"For me, Dele Alli is a top player. He is a key player for us," Pochettino told a news conference.

"I think he helps us by scoring today. I am so happy with him. It's true that everyone can do better, but I am happy.

"It is a period that he needs to find his balance, but I am so happy, his performance was good. He tried and scored and that is fantastic."

Spurs are back in action with a trip to West Ham in the Premier League on Saturday.