Roy Hodgson on why picking Tottenham starlet Dele Alli isn't a risk

The 19-year-old is in the squad for dead-rubber games against Estonia and Lithuania.

England manager Roy Hodgson has, in the Telegraph, defended his decision to call-up the inexperienced Dele Alli to the senior squad for the upcoming Euro 2016 qualifiers.

The former MK Dons midfielder has been a revelation at Tottenham Hotspur this season, and has quickly established himself as a first-team player.

Despite that, he has only played 322 minutes of Premier League football and appeared just twice for the England Under-21’s, leading some to suggest that he is being rushed through too quickly.

Hodgson denies those claims, however, and cites his previous record of introducing young talent to the England set-up.

“I think I have quite a good basis and track record of giving these players a chance and not being let down by them,” said Hodgson, in quotes published by the Telegraph.

“It makes it easier to make a decision when you see someone else who has great talent.”

Hodgson has brought in the likes of Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane in recent times and he will be hopeful Alli responds to the international stage in a similar fashion.

The 19-year-old has displayed a maturity beyond his years in the first few games of the season and has shown a versatility that will be useful to the England team.

His early season appearances saw him play in a more advanced role, but recent injuries have forced Mauricio Pochettino to deploy him deeper – a role he looks equally comfortable in.

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