Southgate: A learning experience for Dele

Team of the Week – Matchday 12

England manager Gareth Southgate believes Dele Alli will learn from the experience of being suspended for an offensive gesture he made in the game against Slovakia.

The Tottenham star sparked controversy when he was caught on camera making an obscene hand sign at Wembley last month, which he claimed was aimed at team-mate Kyle Walker and not at the referee.

FIFA issued Alli with a one-match ban regardless, which rules him out of the Group F clash with Slovenia at the same venue, and Southgate has no problem with the punishment – one that has taught the 21-year-old a valuable lesson.

Speaking in his pre-match press conference, the 47-year-old said: "It was quite a unique circumstance. I think it is probably a fair outcome.

"I have discussed it with Dele throughout, so he recognises his responsibilities and how things will be viewed, and how his world is changing in terms of the attention on him and the spotlight on him.

"He won't do it again, that's for sure. It's an experience he will have learned from."

Southgate went on to suggest that they were keen to move on from the matter as the Three Lions look ahead to the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

"We have had good conversations about loads of different things," he added when asked whether further discussions were planned with the player.

"So now my focus is on him being ready for the game on Sunday [against Lithuania] and making sure he is aware of how we are playing and all the things we are trying to do with the team.

"He is a player we enjoy working with. The things he does on the pitch, in terms of his creativity and the way he plays, are a result of his character and therefore, with that character, sometimes you do these things immediately and think about them after. All these experiences will make him better as he goes forward."