England manager Gareth Southgate is worried about Harry Kane’s physical fitness ahead of the Three Lions’ World Cup qualifier against Hungary next Thursday.
The fixture will be England’s first since their Euro 2020 final defeat to Italy in July, but a number of players in Southgate’s squad haven’t played too much football since that game.
Kane has of course had a summer of uncertainty due to Manchester City transfer links, and although he has made the decision to stay at Tottenham for another season, England’s captain hasn’t played a full 90 minutes yet since returning to Tottenham.
Speaking in a press conference following the announcement of his squad on Thursday, Southgate said: “The whole squad are going to be short on competitive match minutes because our players were back later than most of the rest.
“Some have had pre-season games, some haven’t had a match yet like John Stones.
“So, Harry is in that bracket but he got into the game at the weekend and I expect he will play a fair part tonight [in Tottenham’s Europa League Conference game against Pacos de Ferreira].
“The good thing is that it looks like everything is settled and focused club-wise now. He has got a clear focus now and I am sure he is looking forward to getting out on the pitch with Tottenham now and with us next week.”
Southgate continued by saying he isn’t worried about Kane not being involved in the Champions League this season and he doesn’t think it’ll impact the 28-year-old’s international performances.
In each football.london bulletin, we’ll bring you the latest breaking news, transfer features and comment pieces on your favourite club, as well as the key talking points for fans.
You won’t miss a thing – you’ll get all the news you need right to your inbox. We’ll also send special newsletters when big stories break or there’s a special event happening.
You can sign up for Arsenal updates here.
You can sign up for Chelsea updates here.
You can sign up for Tottenham updates here.
You can sign up for West Ham updates here.
“We have had four or five players around our team in the summer who had played no European football in their lives. Jordan Pickford, Declan Rice, Kalvin Phillips, Jack Grealish,” he added.
“Of course, you want your players in those big competitions but it doesn’t mean you can’t go into an international tournament and play at a fantastic level as those other players did.
“Whatever goes on at players’ clubs can sometimes give them motivation when away with us.”