|Ian Holloway has told talkSPORT there is a plethora of untapped talent in the lower leagues waiting to become the next Dele Alli, John Stones, Joe Hart or Jamie Vardy.|
The former Blackpool and Millwall boss joined the Colin Murray show on Wednesday to chat about his upcoming 1,400-mile tour to cover ten Football League games in ten days, and the manager insists there isn’t a greater time to be watching the lesser tiers of English football.
A host of the Premier League’s top stars and rising starlets have been plucked from outside the top echelon over the years, including England number one Hart and more recently Everton’s Stones, Tottenham’s Alli and Leicester striker Vardy.
The latter trio have all been rewarded for their meteoric rise with a call-up into senior England squad, while Alli starred with a stunning goal on his full Three Lions debut inTuesday night's 2-0 win over France at Wembley.
On the 19-year-old’s recent rise, Holloway told the Colin Murray show: “Dele Alli - what an advert for the Football League!
“This time last year he was playing for MK Dons in League One, and how lucky are Tottenham and England to have him now?
“He was great against France, crunching tackles and a great finish, but it’s not just him.
“John Stones has been brilliant and he started at Rochdale, and Manchester City signed Joe Hart from Shrewsbury.
“These players were created in the Football League.”
It’s a view mirrored by England manager Roy Hodgson, who was full of praise for Alli and Tottenham team-mate Eric Dier who impressed in their first England starts on Tuesday.
“Here we have two guys both of whom have little or very little Premier League experience - both of them making their [full England] debut and they have played the game like they have been playing in the England team as long as we can remember,” the manager said following the emotional victory over France, which saw England players and fans pay tribute to the victims of Friday’s terrorist attacks in Paris.
"It just proves the point that I try to make - that there is talent out there in the country coming through and if we can just keep it nurtured, keep working with it and given them the confidence and the belief in themselves we can hope in the future for maybe some better things.”
24/7 live chat: