Gareth Southgate expects swift return to club action for Dele Alli

Lynette Rowe
September 11, 2018

It also understood that Spurs team-mate Eric Dier will be handed the captain's armband.

Tottenham Hotspur striker Kane, who won the Golden Boot at this year's World Cup with six goals, has started 61 matches in all competitions since the start of last season.

"Dele Alli is a phenomenal talent, has performed at the highest level and is still only 22, but I think he's now facing the first battle of his career", the ex-Chelsea, Marseille and Northern Ireland star wrote in The Times.

"We can see there's a few players around our squad that have the ability to do that, but Spain have had a production line for a long period of time", said the England manager.

Following England's 2-1 defeat to Spain at Wembley on Saturday, Southgate reflected on his country's struggle to unearth players with Gascoigne's talent and suggested that an increased focus on technical ability at junior level could help to nurture more creative players. "Everybody has to play a part in that but theclubs own the players and have to do the right thing for themselves".

England will be desperate to find attacking alternatives in the long term. Normally the clubs would be holding their breath and hiding behind their sofas watching our team go out, but this is one of those occasions where [me] wanting to look at our squad ties in with doing the right thing with the players for our long-term benefit.

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Southgate, 48, led England to the World Cup semi-finals this summer, their best performance since 1990.

After Jamie Vardy recently announced his decision to retire from worldwide football, and with Raheem Sterling injured, England's lack of firepower has become even more glaring, with Southgate effectively ruling out call-ups for Troy Deeney, 30, and Glenn Murray, 34.

"There aren't many English strikers playing", Southgate added. "So I thought this is a good opportunity to do it".

"What we did to promote comfort on the ball was start to get players who are comfortable on the ball".

"But I can't rule out anybody because if people play well it would be foolish to ignore them".

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