Gary Neville concerned for Harry Kane’s welfare

Gary Neville has admitted that he is concerned for Harry Kane’s welfare amid fears that the Spurs and England striker is suffering from burnout. Since establishing himself in Spurs’ starting line-up at the start of the 2014-15 season, Kane has barely missed a game for club or country, clocking up 232 appearances for his club as well as for England’s senior team and the U21s. The 25-year-old has also had only one summer off over the past four years having featured for England at the 2016 European Championships and the 2018 World Cup as well as for the U21s in the Euro’s back in 2015.

Kane has appeared sluggish and off the pace since returning from an ankle injury sustained against Bournemouth in March and Neville expressed his surprise that Gareth Southgate decided to use him as a second half substitute during England’s 1-0 win over Switzerland on Tuesday. ‘I am concerned about Harry Kane. Since 2015 he has played 175 matches and he’s struggling. Forget the physical side, he needs a mental break as well,’ Neville said on Sky Sports. ‘I don’t think he should have been here for the two weeks. I think there is a welfare thing in terms of looking after players. He has not had enough of a break since 2015.’

Such is his importance to both Spurs and England, Kane has generally played for both whenever he’s fit with only a few separate ankle injuries keeping him out of either team for a prolonged period/ Although Kane top-scored at the World Cup with six goals and has two from four games in the Premier League this season, there have been question marks over his overall levels of performance with some pundits suggesting that his drop in shot attempts per game highlights his fatigue. However, Southgate insisted there was ‘no big issue’ in using Kane for half an hour against the Swiss and suggested that his captain is fine with the workload. Speaking after the game, Southgate said: ‘I think he’s going to get matches at his club. He’s had three days of little training. We needed to keep him ticking over.

‘If he didn’t play today, he would have gone out and done some running on the pitch. Playing him for 30 minutes was no big issue. To start the game is a different sort of feel, mentally it’s different.’ Kane will be back in action from the start when Spurs take on Liverpool at Wembley in the Premier League on Saturday.


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