Gary Neville has defended Harry Kane amid claims the Tottenham and England striker is suffering from fatigue.
On the back of winning the Golden Boot at the World Cup in Russia this summer, Kane has scored two goals in four appearances for Spurs but has looked slightly off the pace.
Despite his six World Cup goals, the 25-year-old wasn’t at his absolute best during the tournament, suggesting he still hasn’t fully recovered from the ankle injury he suffered while playing for Tottenham back in March.
But Neville, who made 85 appearances for the Three Lions during his international career, has said Kane’s fatigue is inevitable ahead of England’s UEFA Nations League clash with Spain on Saturday.
“I think with Harry and other players who play week in week out, Saturday-Wednesday and all summer, what you would say is they continue to soldier on and maybe do dip in sharpness, but their level is still high enough to play,” Neville told Sky Sports.
“There’s no doubt that they need that month or two break. However, they will naturally pick up injuries which will give them that break and allow their whole body to recover.
“So it is very difficult for a manager to give them a break because they look tired. Harry is playing at a high level, perhaps not at his peak, but there’s no way you can rest your captain for a competitive fixture.
“Historically there were times where you could do deals between club and international managers to deal with fatigue, when there were friendly games around November, but I just don’t think players would want to miss these games.”
Even a half-fit Kane is better than most strikers in the country, which is wherein the problem lies for both Spurs and England.
It is almost impossible to rest Kane because of his goal return, although Gareth Southgate should perhaps consider managing him carefully during the current international break.
That’s what Tottenham fans will be hoping, anyway.