Football Association chairman Greg Dyke claims Harry Kane’s agent has told him that the Tottenham striker wants to play at this summer’s Under-21 European Championship.
This has been a wondrous campaign for the 21-year-old, having gone from third-choice striker at White Hart Lane to become the talk of the English game.
Kane has netted 30 times in all competitions for Tottenham this season and last month added another chapter to his fairytale rise at Wembley, where he required just 79 seconds to mark his senior England debut with a goal.
Roy Hodgson said at the time that the striker’s maiden senior call-up does not preclude him from this summer’s Under-21 championships, which the Three Lions boss says Kane wanted to go to in order to “finish the job”.
It is far from a straightforward situation given Spurs’ understandable fears about burnout, yet FA chairman Dyke claims he has been given assurances by the player’s agent.
“We want young English footballers to want to play for England,” he said. “It is an important part of their development.
“Playing for the first-team, the England first-team, is the ultimate for a footballer or at least should be and that’s what we want.
“Playing for England matters and young English footballers should feel that it matters – that they can play for their club but they also want to play for England.
“I got a call from Harry Kane’s agent recently just to say how much he enjoyed playing for England and how much he wants to play for the Under-21s this year in the tournament, in the Euros.
“And I think that’s important. If you’re a young English boy coming through the system, you should want to play for England.”
Despite Dyke’s comments, Press Association Sport understands no arrangement has yet been struck between club and country over Kane’s participation, although the striker would go to the Czech Republic if called upon.
Whatever the politics, the striker’s pride at representing his country is clear and a message Dyke wants to promote, with Thursday being St George’s Day.
“When I go back to when I was a kid, St George’s Day was an important day,” the former BBC director-general told FA TV. “We used to have celebrations at my primary school and we used to celebrate England.
“Over time, I think St George’s Day got captured by political movements which is a mistake because we should be celebrating England and particularly in the area of football.
“What brings England together? Well the single most important thing is football and England has the best football team in the British Isles. If England as a football team does well then England is a united country. I think football plays a big part in England and should therefore play a big part in St. George’s Day.”
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