Danny Mills says Wayne Rooney must not be allowed to break up partnership of Tottenham duo

The former England right-back believes the captain could excel in a deeper role but cannot displace Dele Alli or Eric Dier.

Former England right-back Danny Mills has told BBC Radio 5 Live that although Wayne Rooney could still excel for the country in a deeper role, the captain cannot be allowed to break up the burgeoning partnership of Dele Alli and Eric Dier in central midfield.

Alli and Dier were two of the brightest stars of a fine Spurs season, striking up a formidable partnership in central midfield along with Belgian international Mousa Dembele.

With Alli acting as more of the attacking force in the partnership and Dier playing the holding role following his transformation from centre-back to midfielder, the two youngsters played an integral role for Mauricio Pochettino's side as their qualified for the Champions League.

The two have also become fully-fledged members of the England senior set-up, with Alli winning his seventh cap and Dier his fifth in the friendly clash with Turkey on Sunday evening.

Meanwhile, Rooney has found himself increasingly playing in a deeper role for Manchester United, and there have been suggestions that it is in that position that he could feature for England at Euro 2016 next month.

Mills, serving as a co-commentator on BBC Radio 5 Live for the match, acknowledged that Rooney has to start for the Three Lions and could be best utilised in midfield, but insisted that reshuffling his position cannot be allowed to sever the bond between Alli and Dier.

The former right-back told the station: "Rooney has to start, maybe in a deeper role, but Hodgson cannot break up the Dier and Alli partnership."

It remains to be seen how Hodgson will utilise Rooney following his shift in position, particularly with England now boasting a host of attacking options including Premier League top scorer Harry Kane, Leicester City sensation Jamie Vardy, and Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge.

He has a big decision to make in central midfield, with Alli, Dier, Rooney, Ross Barkley, Jordan Henderson, and Jack Wilshere amongst those who will be pushing for a start.

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