England manager Gareth Southgate has welcomed Dele Alli’s return to form at Tottenham as he weighs up his Euro 2020 options.
The 23-year-old was left out of the England squad for the October and November qualifying matches, with Southgate saying after the first of those omissions that Alli’s season “hadn’t got going”, although in part that was due to a hamstring injury.
Mourinho said he had joked with the player in training about whether a less-talented brother was masquerading as Alli, such was his dip in form.
But his revival has helped Spurs to a 100 per cent start from three games under the Portuguese coach, and given Southgate a pleasant selection dilemma.
“Jose has played him as a No 10 and that’s his best position, having the freedom to run on into the box. That has been very clear for a long time,” Southgate said.
“So it’s great he’s back on the scoring trail.”
England were drawn to face their World Cup semi-final conquerors Croatia and the Czech Republic in Group D of the Euro 2020 finals.
They will learn in March who their other group opponent will be – one of Israel, Norway, Scotland or Serbia – with all three group games to be played at Wembley.
Southgate believes the arrival of Mourinho at Spurs will not only keep Alli on his toes but also the rest of Tottenham’s English contingent – Harry Kane, Harry Winks, Danny Rose and Eric Dier.
“At the moment they are fighting to get into Tottenham’s team and pleasing their manager there, so if the consequence of that is that they are in form for us then for sure (getting in the Euro 2020 squad) will be in the players’ minds, but at this stage of the season they are thinking about their clubs.”