Gareth Southgate feels England’s qualification for the last 16 of the World Cup has taken the pressure off Dele Alli as he recovers from a thigh injury, but said the midfielder is “progressing well”.
Alli played 80 minutes of England’s 2-1 win over Tunisia in their Group G opener but was an unused substitute for Sunday’s 6-1 victory over Panama in their second game.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek deputised for the Tottenham playmaker as England romped to victory but Southgate indicated he may have the option of selecting Alli again ahead of their final group game against Belgium on Thursday.
“Dele is progressing well,” Southgate told reporters after the win over Panama. “He’s had an opportunity to train on the field today and we’ll know exactly how close for the Belgium game after [Monday].
Frustrating to have picked up a slight injury on Monday Will do everything in my power to get back to full fitness asap! #ThreeLions pic.twitter.com/o2NcIrwaxQ
— Dele (@dele_official) June 20, 2018
“It takes pressure out of the decision for playing in that game but if he’s ready it’s a good opportunity for him.”
Southgate added that the strapping on Kieran Trippier’s leg after the win in Nizhny Novgorod was not a major concern, saying: “Kieran was feeling a tiny twinge towards half-time but he came over and said he was absolutely fine.”