In a column for the Daily Mail, Glenn Hoddle weighed in on the Dele Alli vs Jesse Lingard debate which has everyone talking ahead of England’s 2018 World Cup campaign.
Alli has struggled to rediscover his form from last season and Gareth Southgate has accused the midfielder of buying into his own hype.
As a result, Alli has been dropped down the England pecking order with Lingard starting in recent international friendlies. The Spurs attacker played no part in the outings against Holland and Italy.
Lingard scored and created goals in both games.
Yet Hoddle is of the view that Alli should start for England at the World Cup despite Lingard’s rise in the pecking order.
“There are plenty of important matches left to win back his England starting place before the World Cup,” wrote Hoddle.
“He’s a natural goal threat, and will get back to that I’m absolutely sure… I’ll repeat, he is only 21, he might not even reach his peak for another seven years.
“If you look at his rivals for the position – Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Adam Lallana, Jack Wilshere – he is a better goalscoer than any of them. An in-form Dele Alli is probably better than Jesse Lingard in that regard.”
Probably? Most will agree with that statement but when has Alli last been in-form?
"He is 21. If you compare him with normal people on the street who are 21, they are still living at home with their parents, they are still at university doing stupid things"— Sky Sports PL (@SkySportsPL) 30 March 2018
Is Dele Alli being put under too much pressure? https://t.co/vf0RqdBXo7 pic.twitter.com/ZDMQzkjcSh
Southgate can’t go into international tournaments starting players on merit. You pick your best performing players and Lingard has done a lot better than Alli this season.