By London correspondent Tony Hughes
Gareth Southgate should build the England team around Dele Alli and Marcus Rashford, according to Ian Wright.
The broadcaster and pundit believes the interim manager must show his faith in the players he describes as the two most exciting young talents in the English game.
Wright urged Southgate, who has been appointed as manager for four matches following Sam Allardyce’s exit, to be bold as England start the process of replacing Wayne Rooney.
The England skipper has been dropped for Tuesday’s World Cup qualifier against Slovenia, with Alli expected to start in the No10 role behind the striker and Rashford likely to be a substitute.
“Wayne Rooney will leave almighty boots for someone to fill,” wrote Wright in his Sun column. “But rather than one man doing so, I don’t see any reason why it can’t be two of the brightest young talents in the game — Marcus Rashford and Dele Alli. I know Rashford won’t start in Slovenia, but it is only a matter of time before he is a regular.
“We’ve all been amazed at how he’s burst through and taken every step up in his laid-back stride. I’d love to see England playing him up top, as a genuine No 9, with Dele just in behind and pulling all the strings.
“Rashford just doesn’t seem to have any fear, whoever’s in front of him. Likewise, Dele is fantastic to watch – confident, cocky, full of self belief, and bags of ability.”
Alli has started seven of Spurs’ nine Premier League and Champions League matches this season, scoring two goals, including a crucial strike in last weekend’s 2-0 win over Manchester City.
By contrast, Rashford has netted four goals in just five United starts in addition to his landmark treble for the Under-21s.
Alli scored his second England goal on Saturday in the team’s 2-0 qualifier win against minnows Malta.
“Dele is 20 and Rashford only 18, so while Wayne is at one end of the road, they’re taking their first footballing steps,” added Wright in the Sun.
“There is absolutely no reason why they can’t become a genuine force, a partnership as good as any around. And if that doesn’t leave you rubbing your hands in anticipation, I don’t know what will.”
In other Tottenham news, Spurs are set to lock horns with their rivals over the signing of a Real Madrid sensation.