England manager Gareth Southgate has defended Tottenham superstar Harry Kane after six international games without a goal.
Kane hasn’t scored for England since November 2019, which sounds worse than it actually is because of the disrupted international programme.
He didn’t score throughout the Nations League campaign, when England failed to qualify for the semi-finals.
But Southgate was keen to point out that much of the group stage took place during what was essentially pre-season and Kane had a goal harshly ruled out in England’s first game.
“He’s in a good place,” Southgate added. “He’s always looking at the next challenge. The games for him in the autumn were unique.
“In August, he scored and was wrongly disallowed in the first 10 minutes of the first game, if that goes in you know the whole autumn can look very different.
“He was in the middle of pre-season in that period, so still getting up to speed physically. In October we couldn’t start him in the first game because (of) injury then we were down to 10 men within half an hour of the second.
“I’m certainly not concerned about Harry in terms of his goalscoring. He’s the leading scorer in the Premier League and leading assists, I think, it’s a remarkable statistic that. We are very happy with where he is at.”
Injury permitting, Kane will lead the line for England in the summer.
He was the Golden Boot winner at the last World Cup and will be looking to repeat that form.
Kane seems likely to be flanked by two wide forwards, which should allow him to drop in and play through balls in behind.
Some critics will say that Southgate’s 3-4-3 limits Kane and it may well be that he switches to a 4-3-3 tonight against minnows San Marino.
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