Few players are as important to Gareth Southgate and England than Tottenham’s Harry Kane.
Some saw it as a risk naming Kane as England captain, but he has risen to the occasion since receiving the honour, leading his side to two straight semi finals.
Kane has also been banging in the goals for fun, from both open play and the penalty spot with nerves of steel.
With the class of Raheem Sterling and the up-and-coming pace of Hudson-Odoi and Sancho on either side of him, Kane seems to be loving this new England formation.
The centre forward has to waste less energy closing down every ball up front on his own, constantly has people running in behind him to find, and plenty of delivery from the wings.
It also gives Kane the freedom to drop into a number 10 role without worrying about there being enough strike force behind him.
Pundits Ian Wright and Joe Cole heaped the praise on Kane after England’s 5-1 win over Montenegro last night.
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Wright said (ITV -quoted by HITC): “You know he is going to score. That’s what is so great about him. Opposition like this or even sterner opposition. Harry Kane is going to be dangerous for us. I like the role he is playing for us, at the minute.”
Cole added: “He will enjoy this system more than anyone because he can play that focal point. Play within the sticks and in the box of the goal. Let your Hudson-Odoi’s, Sterling, Rashford’s or whoever plays either side of him to [do their stuff]. He’s got great support from Alli, Barkley and Henderson when he plays.
“He’s going to love this! And rightly so. You’ve got probably the best number nine in the world playing for England, you need to build your team around him. If we are going to win something, Harry Kane is going to be scoring goals.”