Gareth Southgate has insisted Harry Kane is still a “critical part” of the England setup despite admitting the Three Lions are no longer totally reliant on the captain for goals.
Kane was unfortunate to have a seemingly legitimate goal ruled out for offside against Iceland in the UEFA Nations League on Friday, but the Tottenham striker looked leggy for the majority of the game and was eventually substituted.
Despite his rustiness, Kane finished last season in great shape for Spurs, scoring five goals in the last three Premier League games of the campaign having recovered from injury post-lockdown.
Southgate was able to bring on Mason Greenwood for Kane on Friday – the Manchester United youngster is a natural finisher and could lighten the skipper’s load ahead of next summer’s European Championships.
But despite new goalscoring options emerging, Southgate has reiterated Kane’s importance to the team.
“Harry is a supreme goalscorer and he is critical to the way we play,” said the England manager (via the London Evening Standard).
“Equally, we have some tremendous threats which will be clear as the next few months develop, with Raheem in particular. Jadon Sancho, Mason Mount coming through, Marcus Rashford, of course, at home [injured].
“The nice thing is that we won’t be leaning just on Harry and I think goals can come from elsewhere. But he’s still a critical part of what we do.”
Some Tottenham fans will be hoping Kane doesn’t play the full 90 minutes against Denmark on Tuesday evening so that he is fully fit for Sunday’s Premier League curtain-raiser against Everton.