2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™

2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™

14 June - 15 July

2018 FIFA World Cup™ 

Wright: Rashford and Alli can fill Rooney’s almighty boots

Dele Alli of England heads on goal
© Getty Images

**Ian Wright believes Dele Alli and Marcus Rashford can combine to fill the “almighty” void Wayne Rooney will leave in the England side.

Gareth Southgate confirmed the Three Lions’ all-time leading marksman wouldn’t be in his starting XI for the decisive FIFA World Cup™ qualifier in Slovenia on Tuesday evening.

“Wayne Rooney will leave almighty boots for someone to fill,” Wright, who won 33 England caps in the 1990s, told The Sun. “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 No9, 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.

“Dele is 20 and Rashford only 18, so while Wayne is at one end of the road, they’re taking their first footballing steps. There is absolutely no reason why they can’t become a genuine force, a partnership as good as any around.”

Alli, who was playing in the third tier of English football last year, has won 14 England caps, while Rashford has four to his name.

The 1966 world champions lead Group F on maximum points from two outings, two points above Scotland and Slovenia. Only Brazil (20), Germany (18), Italy (18), Argentina (16) and Mexico (15) have participated in more World Cups than England (14).

You can follow Slovenia-England on* FIFA.com’s *LIVE blog, which provides match updates, stats, tweets and much more as they happen.

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