Dele Alli has been awarded the Football League’s Young Player of the Month Award for August.
The 18-year-old midfielder has made an impressive start to the new season, including an outstanding performance in the Dons’ Capital One Cup victory over Manchester United. He scored two goals in the month – against Peterborough United and Crawley Town – and has since added a third goal of the season against Barnsley.
Milton Keynes-born Alli, who signed an improved and extended contract with the Club on Thursday, joined the Dons’ Academy aged 11 and went on to make his debut for the first team as a 16-year-old in 2012. His performances in August saw him selected for the England U19s for the first time, having previously represented his country at Under-18 and Under-17 level.
On receiving the award, Dele said: "I’m delighted, it’s a good achievement but I couldn’t do it without the team. It’s a credit to be able win this award in such a young team.
"Without the manager giving me the opportunity and supporting me – I can’t say thank you enough to him or my team-mates."
Dons boss Karl Robinson added: "We believe it is well deserved because he played wonderfully well over the month.
"He’s not 19 until April – I can’t imagine there are many younger than him who have won this award.
"An England youth cap, his hat-trick ball, his double figures of goals last season, his 50 appearances – and he’s still only 18."
Each season, Football League clubs invest more than £60m on identifying, training and educating the next generation of football talent.
There are 8,500 young players between the ages of eight and 18 registered with league clubs, making Football League Youth Development the largest centrally co-ordinated young player programme in world football. Over 200 players aged 21 or under make their professional debuts for Football League clubs each season.
Commenting on this month’s recipient, David Wetherall, Head of Youth Development at The Football League, said: "Dele has been talked about as a promising player for some time and it is always good to see a local boy progress through the ranks to play for his local team. He has really started this season well, and in the Capital One Cup tie against Manchester United he certainly grasped the opportunity to show his ability on a national stage."
Each month the accolade is awarded by the Football League to the young player who has made the most significant contribution and impact in first team football. To be eligible the player must be either under 21 years of age or be playing in the season during which he turns 21. Currently around a quarter of all players registered with Football League clubs are eligible to be considered for this award.
For more information on the award and each month’s winner, visit www.football-league.co.uk.