By Dominic Toner
Former Tottenham defender Graham Roberts has praised Dele Alli on Twitter following his impact in the World Cup qualifier against Slovakia.
Sam Allardyce, who was competing as England manager for the first time, used the Tottenham midfielder as a second-half substitute with the score goalless.
Alli, 20, produced a lively performance from the bench by taking up several dangerous positions behind the striker after replacing Jordan Henderson on 64 minutes.
England eventually broke Slovakian resistance in the 95th minute when Adam Lallana tucked home his first international goal, after ex-Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel had been sent off earlier in the second-half to ensure a difficult night for the hosts.
Roberts has revealed on his personal Twitter account that Alli’s introduction “changed the whole pace of the game” and helped England to a 1-0 victory in their first group match.
Allardyce’s side struggled to get past a stubborn Slovakian backline, something they encountered in the goalless draw at the Euros against the same opposition, and it was the energy of Alli that gave his side the edge this time.
Alli has endured a difficult start to the new Premier League campaign and has failed to score in the club’s three league fixtures.
The youngster was omitted from the starting line-up against Crystal Palace and is yet to recreate his from last season.
The 20-year-old was one of the shining lights for Spurs as they pushed for the 2015-16 Premier League title, and he was crowned PFA Young Player of the Year.
Following his move from League One side MK Dons he has helped his side return to the Champions League.
Spurs completed the £30million signing of Moussa Sissoko this summer and he will add more competition for the midfield places this season.
Mauricio Pochettino helped forge the partnership between English duo Alli and Harry Kane last year and they will hope to achieve similar success once again. Kane is also yet to register in the Premier League this season.
In other Tottenham team news, Nigeria officials have approached the club’s starlet for international duty.