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Dele Alli’s Odd Call-Up to England Squad

A few days ago, I wrote a piece about Dele Alli and gave reasons why he might be the apparent heir to Sunday Oliseh’s midfield crown in the Super Eagles.

On the same day Nigeria celebrated her 55th birthday, England coach, Roy Hodgson called up Dele Alli to the England squad for their upcoming Euro qualifiers against Lithuania and Estonia.

Alli has been in impeccable form in the English Premier League for Tottenham Hotspur since arriving this summer. He was signed from League One MK Dons in January but was immediately loaned back to the club and helped the club earn automatic promotion to the Championship.

Although the 19-year-old deserves this recognition and opportunity for his excellent displays, one can’t help but wonder if there is more than meets the eye.

Just three months ago, the player was plying his trade in third-tier of English football and has represented England U-21s just twice in a short career so for him to have made this meteoric rise to the England team is interestingly amazing.

The fact that his midfield partner at Spurs, Eric Dier, who has started every game this season and scored two goals, failed to make the cut suggests that this may be a perfectly executed plan for England to claim Alli.

The 2014/2015 Football League’s Young Player of the Year, Alli is eligible to represent Nigeria through his parentage despite having represented England at every level from under-17 up.

Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) are believed to have contacted Alli to effect this switch to the Super Eagles but it seems the English have played a fast one on them.

However, Alli remains available to Super Eagles coach, Sunday Oliseh for selection despite his England call-up but will be bound to the Three Lions for life if he features against Lithuania or Estonia as both are competitive games.

Barring a minor injury this weekend or in training, Alli is set to feature in atleast one of these games as England have already qualified for Euro 2016 in France.

Well played England. Well played!

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Arinze Ude

Arinze Ude is a PhD Student at the University of the West of England Bristol, UK, where he's exploring on the mechanisms of donor cell leukaemia. He shares his deep thoughts on his blog and the Naked Convos. He is keen to promote personal development of the Nigerian youth via thought-provoking articles.

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