Former Tottenham and England midfielder Jermaine Jenas has told The Mirror that he thinks Roy Hodgson will have been surprised by the performances of Dele Alli and Eric Dier this season.
England's preparations for Euro 2016 continued at the Etihad Stadium this evening, as the Three Lions beat Turkey 2-1 thanks to goals from strikers Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy.
Kane was one of five Tottenham players in England's starting line-up against Turkey, as he was joined by Kyle Walker, Danny Rose, Dele Alli and Eric Dier as the Spurs contingent were rewarded for their performances in a fine season under Mauricio Pochettino.
There's a possibility that all five could start the opening group game at Euro 2016 against Russia, but two players who appear to be certain to start are Alli and Dier.
The two young midfielders were key players as Pochettino and Spurs chased the title, and as two emerging stars of English football, they now look set to start for England this summer.
Yet, as England bowed out of the 2014 World Cup, Hodgson surely didn't bank on either playing being in contention, never mind in the starting line-up. After all, Dier was a bit-part player for Sporting Lisbon in Portugal whilst Alli was emerging with League One side MK Dons - a far cry from Premier League stardom.
Now, former Spurs and England midfielder Jermaine Jenas has been talking about that situation, telling The Mirror that Hodgson must have been surprised with their development as he couldn't have expected them to be playing at the level they are.
Jenas praised Dier for transitioning from defence into holding midfield, where he is now one of the best in his position in the Premier League.
"It’s a huge thing for England," said Jenas. "If they are going to go far in this tournament, the Spurs contingent are going to have a lot to do with that – even if you put Harry Kane aside. There has been the emergence of Dele Alli this year. Roy couldn’t have expected him and Eric Dier to get to the level they have."
"Last year, we were talking about Dier and not knowing if he was a right-back or a centre-back. Now, he’s one of the most accomplished holding midfield players in the Premier League," he added.
Should Dier and Alli start against Russia?