The Tottenham Hotspur attacking midfielder is available for the Three Lions again following a one-match suspension.
While Alli is believed by many to be England's talisman, Southgate has instead bestowed that honour upon Liverpool star Lallana, who is currently out injured.
"In my year in charge, Adam Lallana has been our best player and we've not had him for the last three matches," Southgate told The Telegraph. "There are some players who can unlock defences and score goals.
"Dele is an interesting player. If you analyse his game closely he's a scorer of goals and he's not necessarily the link player Adam is.
"So, perceptions of players and their actual particular skill sets and areas where they are effective is not what's commonly perceived. I go to games and I look at one person and how he plays, so you see the different attributes.
"Dele's biggest strengths are arriving in the box, timing his runs, finishing and scoring goals. If he can add consistency into his touch and creativity of pass into that, he'll be a better player than he already is."
England take on Lithuania in their final World Cup qualifier on Sunday knowing that their place in next summer's tournament is already secured.