Former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Jermaine Jenas has told the Independent that England manager Roy Hodgson must not take the feisty side out of Dele Alli's game at Euro 2016 this summer as it would risk "diluting" the young star.
Alli enjoyed a remarkable breakthrough in his first season at White Hart Lane, scoring 10 goals and contributing nine assists in 33 Premier League appearances.
That form has seen him become a star of the England side at the age of just 20, and he looks certain to start behind club teammate Harry Kane for the Three Lions at next month's European Championship in France.
However, Alli has also on occasion revealed a less attractive side to his game; the midfielder has shown flashes on indiscipline, being booked seven times and hitting the headlines for unsavoury incidents, the latest of which saw him banned for the final three games of the season for punching West Bromwich Albion man Claudio Yacob.
Despite those troubles, Jenas believes that the worst thing Hodgson and England could do for Alli would be to try to temper that side of his play as it would curb the competitive edge which makes him so successful.
Jenas told the Independent: "[England should] do nothing at all. Leave him alone. Let him be the player he wants to be. It’s what makes the top players great and the minute you start taking it out of them, you are diluting them. I hate that. It is part of his make-up and he will learn.
"Roy will have a word with him. It is almost a blessing that [the ban] has happened towards the end of the season. It will be a reminder. It was just petulance rather than anything nastier than that. The last thing I want, though, is for somebody to take that out of Dele.
"He might need somebody to tell him to tone it down a bit, someone like [Wayne] Rooney who has gone through every single emotion as an England international. He is a special talent, very. He can be one of the best young players at this tournament and I will be surprised if he does not come out of it a huge European star."
Alli has made a bright start to his life as an England international, scoring in a friendly against France in November and setting up his Spurs partner in crime Kane for the opening goal after just three minutes of the recent clash with Turkey.
He looks set to be one of the jewels in the crown for Hodgson's side this season as they look for an improved tournament performance next month.