‘No one can replace the quality he has’: Gary Neville admits he is ‘worried’ about Harry Kane’s injury, with the England captain a doubt for clash against USA… as Graeme Souness takes aim at Gareth Southgate for not ‘saving him from himself’ in Iran win
- Harry Kane may be facing a race against time to be fit for England’s next outing
- The Three Lions captain suffered an ankle injury in Monday’s 6-2 win over Iran
- After having a scan this week, England staff feel he does not have major damage
- But Gary Neville is concerned by the prospect of lining up without Kane upfront
- England’s second World Cup fixture comes against USA on Friday evening
- Click here for the latest World Cup 2022 news, fixtures, live action and results
Gary Neville admits he is ‘worried’ about Harry Kane after the England captain suffered an ankle injury in Monday’s opening World Cup win over Iran.
Kane shipped a heavy challenge from Morteza Pouraliganji in the 48th minute of England’s 6-2 victory, though despite appearing to be in considerable pain he played on for close to half an hour in Doha.
The Tottenham striker underwent a scan on Wednesday and Three Lions staff believe he has not suffered major damage, meaning there is still optimism that he could feature in Friday’s clash with USA.
Gary Neville admits he is ‘worried’ about the ankle injury Harry Kane suffered against Iran
Yet Neville is concerned by the prospect of England lining up without their star man, insisting there is no sufficient replacement for him in attack.
‘I am a little bit worried, they are being a bit coy on it,’ he said on ITV Sport.
‘I don’t think Gareth is a manager who wants to play mind games. I am worried about it. There is no replacement for him directly, no one can replace the quality he has.
‘You saw the cross the other day. [Callum] Wilson and [Marcus] Rashford are good when there is space in behind, but when there is a deep defence they do struggle with their back to goal, they don’t have the same quality.
Kane shipped a heavy tackle during England’s 6-2 win over Iran at the World Cup on Monday
Neville fears for the Three Lions if their star striker is unavailable for Friday’s clash with USA
‘We have seen what Kane has done at tournament over the past few years, his assists are as good as his goals. It would be a big concern in leadership and in quality.’
Should Kane miss Friday’s encounter with USA, or even any further fixtures at the tournament, Neville’s co-pundit Graeme Souness believes the blame will lie with Gareth Southgate for not taking him off sooner.
‘I am watching with a manager’s head on,’ Souness added, ‘I am thinking this boy has got a history of problems with his ankles. He played on, he wasn’t right. I am thinking, he has to come off now.
England staff believe Kane has not suffered any major damage to his ankle, nevertheless
‘He had 27 minutes running on that ankle. Some players need saving from themselves. He is thinking there are goals in this game against Iran. He is thinking I want to stay on. You don’t need to risk Harry anymore.
‘I have written about this competition prior to coming here, I am not sure when they are playing proper teams who will get goals other than Harry Kane. I see that as avoidable. I think that is on the manager.
‘The player wants to be the top scorer again so will act in a selfish way, he needed saving from himself there.’
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