HomeFootball NewsDele Alli targets place in England squad for World Cup 2026

Dele Alli targets place in England squad for World Cup 2026

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Everton midfielder Dele Alli is targeting a place in the England squad for the 2026 World Cup as he continues his comeback from injury and mental health problems.

The 28-year-old has not played for England for five years after a whirlwind rise to the top with Tottenham. Injuries derailed his progress while he also struggled to overcome the trauma of a troubled upbringing, revealing all to Gary Neville in an emotional interview a year ago.

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He has not played for Everton this season due to various fitness issues and is unable to help the club as they battle relegation to the Championship.

Nevertheless, Dele is confident that if he can regain full fitness he possesses the quality to force his way back into Three Lions reckoning for the World Cup in the United States, Canada and Mexico in two years’ time.

Speaking on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football, he said: “I know how good I can be when my head is in the right place and I’m feeling good. Obviously I’m disappointed with the injury right now but I’m excited to get playing.

“It’s hard for me to even watch football. It’s been tough for me, I’d say, this past eight months has been hard to watch.

“You know you can set reminders on your phone, I have a reminder at 11 o’clock every day that says, ‘World Cup 2026’. That’s my aim for now. I think that people will be like, ‘he hasn’t played in a year’ but I don’t care, I know my level.

“The only target I have is the World Cup right now. Obviously I’m injured and contracted to Everton and so my mind is just about taking it day by day and making sure my injury is healed and that I’m in the best possible condition after the summer.

“It’s annoying because I’ll be just fully training as the season ends so it means that I won’t have to rush it.”

Dele is out of contract at Everton at the end of the season and it’s unlikely his deal will be renewed, particularly if the Merseysiders slip out of the top flight.

Asked about his future, he added: “I’m signed to Everton so I think it’d be disrespectful to say anything else while I’m here.

“They’ve been so amazing with me and I don’t know if it’s off the cards being there next season so I won’t talk about any of that because they’ve been amazing and I don’t know the details of the situation but I want to stay in the Premier League and be at the highest level and playing against the best players.

“It’s exciting. Some players might panic and think, ‘I’m out of contract in the summer’ but this is a great opportunity to show myself and show what an amazing story it has been and what it’s going to continue to be.”

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.

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