Despite making a successful return from a hamstring injury for Tottenham and finding the back of the net on two occasions, Dele Alli still finds himself out of England squad for the Euro 2020 qualifiers coming up next week.
England manager Gareth Southgate admitted that he didn’t phone Dele on this occasion to explain the rationale behind leaving him out of the double header.
Southgate is quoted in the Sun as saying, “I haven’t spoken with Dele. I did speak with Eric Dier a week or so ago, to catch up with him and get a view of where he is at.
“I spoke to Dele in the two previous months but there’s only so many times that they are going to want to have that conversation.”
While the Three Lions coach admitted that Alli’s recent displays have been promising, he insisted that the competition in the position means that the Spurs midfielder has some way to go to force himself back into the squad.
Southgate added, “I hope we’re always very fair and clear on why we’re selecting. Dele’s back, he’s on a better path in the last couple of games, for sure.
“Getting a goal will do him the world of good but, within those No 8 positions, look at the comparables in the team.
“Barkley has played very well for us over the last 12 months, is now scoring for Chelsea and is playing in that position very well.
“Maddison is probably in that sort of area of the pitch and Oxlade-Chamberlain is playing exceptionally well. He has the athleticism and speed that’s different to all of those others.
“That’s why I mentioned Jack Grealish because he’s a very good player, as is Dele.”
The 49-year-old admitted that it was difficult to drop players who had been important members of the squad in previous years but claimed that he was making the calls based on the players’ forms for their clubs.
He added, “It’s harder when it’s players like Dele, Jesse Lingard or Eric Dier because they have been a big part of what we have achieved over the last couple of years.
“We watch every game. We think we have a very, very good picture of all of the players and exactly what they’ve done in every game, and we can only pick honestly on what we’ve seen.”
Spurs Web Opinion
Dele Alli can have few complaints at being left out of the squad given how well the likes of James Maddison and Mason Mount have been playing this season. However, if he stays injury-free for the rest of the season, I have no doubt that he will win his place back in the squad in time for the Euros next summer.
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