In Brief

Dele Alli debate: does Tottenham star deserve England place?

Midfielder withdraws from the England squad to face Switzerland

England vs. Switzerland

England boss Gareth Southgate will be without Dele Alli after the midfielder withdrew from the squad for the international friendly against Switzerland.

Tottenham star Alli will miss tomorrow night’s clash in Leicester due to a minor muscle strain he picked up in the 2-1 loss against Spain at Wembley on Saturday. 

The 22-year-old returns to Spurs for further treatment and will hope to be fit for Saturday’s Premier League fixture against Liverpool.

Southgate had already added Leicester City’s Ben Chilwell and Demarai Gray to his squad to face the Swiss. He will not bring in a replacement for Alli.

‘He’s getting lost in games’

Despite his fine form for Tottenham alongside England skipper Harry Kane, Alli has struggled in an England shirt. During the run to the World Cup semi-finals he scored in the last-eight match against Sweden but struggled during the tournament because of a thigh injury.

In Saturday’s loss against Spain, Alli was ineffective as England were beaten in their first match since the World Cup in Russia. Spain midfield stars Isco and Thiago Alcantara ran the game at Wembley, revealing exactly what Southgate is missing from his engine room.

The Times columnist Tony Cascarino believes Alli “must find way to dominate like Isco,” while in The Daily Telegraph Sam Wallace writes that Southgate could do with “finding an English Thiago Alcantara... or two”.

Despite Alli’s talent, Cascarino says the 22-year-old is now facing “the first battle of his career”.

“I’m not being critical of Alli as a player – he’s a fine talent and I know I had plenty of struggles throughout my career – but there’s no denying that he is getting lost in games and he cannot afford to become a luxury player,” Cascarino writes.

“I want to see Alli put himself about the pitch, making more challenges, and improve his passing game because at the moment I don’t think he’s a guaranteed starter for Gareth Southgate.”

Fans react to Alli withdrawal

After it was announced today that Alli would miss the match against Switzerland, some fans questioned if the Spurs star should have been in the squad at all after his busy summer with the Three Lions.

Many believe he needs the rest while others say it’s in Tottenham’s interest for Alli to miss the England game. Some predict that Alli will be fit enough to face Liverpool on Saturday in the early Premier League fixture (12.30pm).

Here are some of the reactions on Twitter:

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