By 90Min
October 08, 2017

England manager Gareth Southgate has claimed that Adam Lallana will act as his side's main creative outlet, not Dele Alli.

The latter is set to return from a one-game ban for England's World Cup qualifier against Lithuania.

But Southgate has stressed that Alli's role is not necessarily that of a traditional No.10, and that Liverpool's Lallana is a more likely candidate to be given the task of breaking down defences.

“In my year in charge, Adam Lallana has been our best player and we've not had him for the last three matches,” said Southgate, quoted by the Telegraph. “There are some players who can unlock defences and score goals.

“Dele is an interesting player. If you analyse his game closely he's a scorer of goals and he's not necessarily the link player Adam is.

“So, perceptions of players and their actual particular skill sets and areas where they are effective is not what's commonly perceived. I go to games and I look at one person and how he plays, so you see the different attributes.

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“Dele's biggest strengths are arriving in the box, timing his runs, finishing and scoring goals. If he can add consistency into his touch and creativity of pass into that, he'll be a better player than he already is.”

Alli received a suspension for a middle-finger gesture against Slovakia, and was also chastised for diving during Spurs' win over Huddersfield last weekend. But Southgate has insisted that he will learn from his mistakes.

“He understands his responsibilities, that the spotlight is on him even more now that his career is progressing,” said Southgate. “There'll be more interest in what he does.

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“It’s easy for me to sit here and say this is how he should be, and for him to sit there when he's calm and sat down... that's different to being in the middle of a game because everyone is different personalities. He does things at times not always thinking about what the possible consequences are if they go wrong.

“He's a more instinctive type of person. He's 21. All of us, at 21, don't always make the right decisions, but as a coach you support him and help him. As he gets older, he'll make more good decisions in all areas.”

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