England manager Gareth Southgate has handed Tottenham fans some rather disturbing news ahead of their weekend encounter with Chelsea - who they take on in the return of the Premier League.
The Three Lions boss has confirmed that Dele Alli has not been completing training with the national side, and now the youngster faces a fight to be fit in time for the match against the Blues.
The last week has put Alli's England position in a bit of jeopardy - or so it seemed. The 21-year-old looks to be on the periphery of Southgate's squad, having only managed to come on as a substitute during England's 1-0 win over the Netherlands, and not featuring at all against Italy on Tuesday night.
It looks as though Jesse Lingard may well be Southgate's preferred choice in the team over Alli with the World Cup just around the corner. However, that perception could also be a result of an ongoing groin injury that the Spurs midfielder has been facing.
“He’s very important to us,” Southgate said of Alli, via the Independent. “In training he’s not been able to finish all of the sessions, with the little problem he’s had,”
With the tie against Chelsea just days away, Alli's fitness becomes a sudden concern to Spurs fans - who had previously assumed that his groin complaint had disappeared.
Tottenham and Chelsea are separated by five points in the Premier League as it stands, and a win for Spurs would put them in a great position to qualify for next season's Champions League. But to overcome a strong Chelsea team will take their best players, one of which, Alli certainly is.