England facing Harry Kane dilemma after Champions League Final
Gareth Southgate will hold talks with Harry Kane on Monday but is facing a major dilemma over his fitness for the Nations League.
Tottenham striker Kane looked short of sharpness in the Champions League as the gamble on starting him backfired badly on Mauricio Pochettino.
England boss Southgate already had doubts over Kane’s fitness ahead of the semi final with Holland on Thursday in Portugal.
But Southgate insisted that Kane’s goalscoring record for England – 22 goals in 37 caps – meant that he would be treated as a special case.
However, Kane will be a major concern for Southgate after he watched the Champions League final in Madrid as the England captain was well off the pace.
Kane injured ankle ligaments in the Champions League against Manchester City on April 9 and, despite returning to training, the defeat against Liverpool in Saturday’s final was his first game in nearly two months.
Kane insisted he was fit to start and will believe he can do the same for England in the Nations League but it will now be down to Southgate to ascertain whether he can take the same gamble again.
Southgate was already wary of starting too many players from Liverpool and Tottenham as they may be exhausted both physically and mentally from the Champions League final.
Southgate will check on the Liverpool and Tottenham contingent when they report up on Monday before England fly to Portugal on Wednesday.
England are likely to be cautious on the players who get picked and some may be saved for a potential final.
It could be that Manchester United ’s Marcus Rashford gets a chance through the middle as he has played there for much of the season.