Steven Gerrard says he “sees a bit of myself” in Dele Alli, with the former Liverpool midfielder selecting his England side to face Russia.
England play Russia in their Euro 2016 opener on Saturday, with Alli expected to start ahead of Jack Wilshere in central midfield.
Manager Roy Hodgson will reportedly field an attacking line-up for the first game in Group B, and Gerrard would field a similar side, with Raheem Sterling and Adam Lallana providing width on the wings.
Predicting his side for the Daily Telegraph, Gerrard noted that he was particularly looking forward to seeing Alli on the international stage.
‘A young player who everyone is excited to see,’ Gerrard wrote of the Tottenham midfielder. ‘I see a bit of myself in him and I’m looking forward to how he deals with this tournament.’
On the rest of his side, the 35-year-old added: ‘I’ve gone for a 4-3-3, attacking with lots of energy. It’s a side for the first game, but I don’t believe we should be going into this tournament thinking we have to play the same XI every match. We can keep it fresh.’
Steven Gerrard’s England XI to face Russia
Kyle Walker Chris Smalling Gary Cahill Danny Rose
Wayne Rooney Dele Alli
Adam Lallana Harry Kane Raheem Sterling