Football

Gareth Southgate reveals who has been England's best player - it's not Harry Kane

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Gareth Southgate achieved what he set out to do when he took the England job earlier this week when the Three Lions qualified for the World Cup in Russia next year.

His next job is to make the country believe that they are capable of making an impression at the World Cup and an insipid outing doesn't loom yet again.

Judging by the 30,000-odd empty seats at Wembley for the past two games with Slovenia and Slovakia, it would seem he is having a hard time convincing the fans.

However, Southgate claims his reign as boss has been blighted with injury issues.

The former Middlesbrough gaffer had as many as 13 players missing from his latest squad who still have a dead rubber match with Lithuania.

Dele Alli is available again for the Three Lions after serving a one-game suspension for raising his middle finger during England's game with Slovakia in September, but Southgate rejects the notion that England will create more with the Spurs star.

In fact, he claims England's most creative player is their best player - Adam Lallana.

“In my year in charge, Adam Lallana has been our best player and we've not had him for the last three matches,” said Southgate. “There are some players who can unlock defences and score goals.

“Dele is an interesting player. If you analyse his game closely he's a scorer of goals and he's not necessarily the link player Adam is.

“So, perceptions of players and their actual particular skill sets and areas where they are effective is not what's commonly perceived. I go to games and I look at one person and how he plays, so you see the different attributes.

“Dele's biggest strengths are arriving in the box, timing his runs, finishing and scoring goals. If he can add consistency into his touch and creativity of pass into that, he'll be a better player than he already is.”

Southgate has a point when it comes to styles, but is Lallana really England's best player? Let us know what you think in the comments section.

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