two games at the European Championship England haven’t exactly played in a style and functionality to get the best out of Harry Kane, but the statistics also paint grim reading for the Three Lions captain.
In games against Croatia and Scotland at Wembley, Kane has now touched the ball in the opposition’s penalty area just six times and in both matches he’s been so ineffectual he’s been withdrawn early.
That would have felt unthinkable not so long ago, especially with England being held to a goalless draw against the Scots. Kane is not only England captain but also their most likely source of goals, but he was taken off because he simply couldn’t get in the game.
This was a night of immense frustration for Kane. While his toils against Croatia could be written off in the aftermath of an England win, this was a sign that he’s not fully firing for his country at Euro 2020.
There was plenty of social media speculation that Kane wasn’t fully fit after the game, but in truth he often carries a bit of hangdog look when things aren’t going well. Nobody in this England squad is going to be 100% after a gruelling season and Kane has had troubles with his ankle again, but he looked sharp on the final day of the club season when he scored to seal another Golden Boot.
Part of the issue is undoubtedly England’s approach in the first two games – Kane has lacked service – but Gareth Southgate will want more dynamism from his centre forward as well. That’s just not happening at the moment.
It will be intriguing to see how Kane’s struggles at the European Championship – if they continue – affect the transfer saga going on around him at the moment, and of course it may be that that drama is having an effect on him this tournament. It can be draining.
If Tottenham were hoping to consider a sale when his value had sky-rocketed then that now looks unlikely, unless Kane finds some form during what remains of the tournament. You also wonder whether interested clubs will be thinking twice about spending north of £100million on the 27-year-old.
It’s Manchester City that remains Kane’s most likely destination this summer, but Manchester United have long held an interest in the Tottenham striker and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has refused to rule out another centre forward arriving this summer.