Speaking to the official FA website, Roy Hodgson has explained why Dele Alli and Danny Ings were named in the England squad today, putting them in line to win their first caps for the Three Lions.
Hodgson said: “Danny is someone we followed very closely with Burnley last year. But we didn't really have a chance to bring him in with us because of the Under-21s tournament – he was an important member of the U21s. Now, of course, he is a senior and it was a good opportunity to bring him in.
“Dele Alli is, I suppose, the more off-beat one in the sense that he is so young and only just broken into the Tottenham team. We are a year away from France so we're thinking it is a good opportunity to ask him to come with us on this occasion, when so many midfield players are actually missing through injury, and get to know him a bit better.”
It is not so much of a surprise to see Ings in the squad, although it could be suggested that his first call-up for the senior squad should have been last season.
He is playing less frequently for Liverpool than he was for Burnley, but there are doubts about his goalscoring ability, and Hodgson has admitted that is was just a waiting game for the 23-year-old striker, being unwilling to take him out of the Under-21 squad last season due to the European Championships in the summer.
Alli is the more surprising call-up, especially considering his is still only 19-years-old, and has started only three Premier League games.
He is undoubtedly a talent, and has shown himself to already be a key player for Mauricio Pochettino’s side, but right now there are doubts about whether he should be called up.
There is a sense that rushing him into the England set-up could be bad for his development, but Hodgson has stated that the call-up came about due to the number of injuries suffered in the midfield positions, allowing Alli to fight for a place in the side.
We will have to wait and see if either player actually makes their senior debut in the coming weeks, but both should get ample opportunity to make their bow in the future if they are overlooked on this occasion.