Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Dele Alli is hopeful of returning from injury in time to face Southampton this weekend, according to the London Evening Standard.
The England midfielder has been out of action since sustaining a hamstring strain against Fulham at the end of January.
Alli has made 25 appearances in all competitions this season, scoring seven goals and laying on four assists.
The 22-year-old, who featured heavily at the World Cup in Russia in the summer, scoring in the quarter-final against Sweden, has missed six Premier League games with his latest setback, including defeats against Chelsea and Burnley. He also missed both legs of the Champions League victory over Borussia Dortmund.
Perhaps evidence of his hefty workload also comes in the fact that he sustained a hamstring injury earlier in the season, missing games against Liverpool, Huddersfield Town, Cardiff City and West Ham, as well as European clashes with Barcelona, Inter Milan and PSV Eindhoven.
Alli, however, is now confident of returning to the fray and may also be included in Gareth Southgate’s England squad next week, according to the aforementioned report.
Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino confirmed the report on Thursday, telling reporters, per Football.London: “Yes, that’s good news to be available. We need to wait tomorrow for the last training. But in all aspects doing so well and hope he’s going to be available and maybe can play on Saturday.
The former MK Dons midfielder has become a key player for both club and country and has already won 33 caps for the Three Lions.
Alli should not be rushed back.
While he may feel that he is fit to play against the Saints, a successful cameo would surely see him called up by Southgate for the Euro 2020 qualifiers against the Czech Republic and Montenegro.
However, in doing so, both club and country risk the talented midfielder burning out.
He has played an awful lot of football since his move to Spurs and is clearly susceptible to muscle injuries; he has sustained two this season alone.
Since his transfer to north London, Alli has made 171 appearances for the club in just four years.
If he is rushed back into the fray, he may well be spending even more time on the treatment table.