Mauricio Pochettino believes Dele Alli can make England's Euro 2016 squad
Published 15/10/2015 | 19:41
Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino is backing Dele Alli to be included in England's Euro 2016 squad next summer.
Alli made his senior international debut against Estonia last Friday and then came on as a substitute in the 67th minute of England's 3-0 win over Lithuania.
It has been a rapid rise to fame for the 19-year-old, who was playing in League One with MK Dons only five months ago.
Pochettino had urged caution on pushing Alli into the England squad too soon but the Argentine believes the midfielder can keep his spot if he continues his current form.
"If he follows in the same way that he's played in the last few months then maybe he will have the opportunity to go," Pochettino said.
"It's not because he's young and 19 years old, football is about performance.
"He is still young but very mature - on the pitch and off it - and he's a great boy and we're happy how he has adapted in the different levels, in a different league.
"The Premier League is very tough and he came from League One and he adapted himself in a very good way."
Alli is likely to play a major role against Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool on Saturday as Tottenham are short in midfield given injuries to Ryan Mason (knee) and Nabil Bentaleb (ankle), while Eric Dier is suspended.
Mousa Dembele or Tom Carroll could partner Alli in the middle of the park, or another option would be to push centre-back Toby Alderweireld into the defensive midfield role.
"Always it's a problem when you have some players in this situation but we have a big squad, I trust in all players," Pochettino said.
"Sometimes you have to decide who is the best player to play in different games, but I'm happy with the squad.
"Always you want to have all players fit and available to decide who to pick, but this is football and we need to accept the situation."