Rooney cannot be at expense of Tottenham's Alli, Jenas warns

Manchester United's Wayne Rooney

Jermaine Jenas says Tottenham star Dele Alli must keep his place for England above Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney.

England's Dele AlliEngland's Dele Alli

Jermaine Jenas has told Yahoo Sport that while he wants Wayne Rooney to start for England this summer, it should not be at the expense of Dele Alli.

Alli is coming off a sensational season for Tottenham and has earned his place in the England side, but with Wayne Rooney transitioning from a striker into more of an attacking midfielder, one possibility is to leave Alli on the bench.

Manchester United's Wayne Rooney celebrates with the trophy after winning the FA CupManchester United's Wayne Rooney celebrates with the trophy after winning the FA Cup

Jenas insists this should not happen, with in his eyes, Alli and Tottenham teammate Eric Dier absolute must picks for the Three Lions at Euro 2016.

He said: "The only two players I would not dream of taking out of England's midfield are Eric Dier and Dele Alli. Dier has to play in front of the back four, while Alli has shown he can open teams up playing just behind the striker (or strikers if Roy Hodgson plays two up front).

"But that doesn't have to be at the expense of Rooney. Wayne is a player who can go and pick up the ball from the back four, he can hit any kind of pass you want and he has shown he can even play box-to-box. He could play on the left or right of a diamond, or more centrally."

Alli showed this season he too is versatile, able to play the attacking midfield role, but also capable of dropping deeper, while he also possesses a fearless approach which the safer James Milner and Jordan Henderson simply do not.

England's Eric Dier and Dele Alli during trainingEngland's Eric Dier and Dele Alli during training

Alli scored more Premier League goals than Rooney did despite the United ace spending much of the season up front, and is deserving of his opportunity.

It is almost taken as a given that Golden Boot winner Harry Kane will start up front, which could mean England boss Roy Hodgson has to decide between Rooney and Leicester forward Jamie Vardy, the Football Writers Player of the Year.

Jamie Vardy scores the second goal for EnglandJamie Vardy scores the second goal for England

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