‘Delph over Alli?’ – England boss Southgate told he should have stuck with out-of-sorts Spurs star

Former Tottenham midfielder Jamie O’Hara believes the Three Lions should have supported a man who has been a regular in previous squads

England manager Gareth Southgate should have “stuck by” Dele Alli rather than oust the Tottenham star, says Jamie O’Hara, with there no need for Fabian Delph to be in the squad.

Alli, who has been a regular in the Three Lions fold since making his senior debut in 2015, has been overlooked in the latest 25-man party.

His struggles for form at Spurs have contributed to questions being asked of his value for club and country.

The 23-year-old is, however, a proven performer at the very highest level and has 37 caps to his name.

O’Hara believes Southgate has made a mistake in not supporting a mainstay of previous sides through a testing period, with there little value in calling up alternatives.

Former Manchester City midfielder Delph, who is now on the books at Everton, has got the nod, but that call has been questioned in a unit which also includes Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson, Leicester’s James Maddison, Chelsea duo Mason Mount and Ross Barkley, West Ham’s Declan Rice and Alli’s Tottenham team-mate Harry Winks.

O’Hara told talkSPORT of a selection made for Euro 2020 qualifiers against the Czech Republic and Bulgaria: “[Jesse] Lingard I can understand being left out. He’s not been at it this season with Man Utd and he’s not making things happen when you play in that position.

“Dele Alli? Southgate should probably have stuck by him and given him the confidence by putting him in the squad. I know he’s out of form but he’s still young and still done a lot for his age.

“He (Southgate) doesn’t need to look at Fabian Delph, does he?”

England have made a faultless start to their European Championship qualifying campaign, with maximum points taken from four games so far.

Alli has not figured for the Three Lions, though, since the Nations League finals over the summer.

Injury issues have held him back at times, but inconsistency at Tottenham has also done his cause few favours.

An attack-minded performer who burst onto the scene as one of the top goal-getting midfielders in the country has failed to find the target since January 20 and is now paying the price for an alarming dip.

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