Harry Kane’s wonderful season continued with a brace in the North London derby…
Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane has all but nailed on a spot in Roy Hodgson’s next England squad, after scoring both his side’s goals in the 2-1 victory over North London rivals Arsenal at White Hart Lane this weekend.
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The 21-year-old, who was not even in the match-day squad when Tottenham last played Arsenal back in September, has now netted 22 goals in all competitions this season for his club side, plus another four for the England Under-21s.
His 22 goals have come in just 34 appearances, while his tally includes strikes against London rivals Chelsea and Crystal Palace, as well as Saturday’s brace against the Gunners.
Former England midfielder Danny Murphy has since had his say on Kane, claiming that not only should he be included in Hodgson’s squad, but that the side should be based around him. The ex-Tottenham star told BBC Sport: “He’s so young, but he’s so powerful. I’m struggling to see a weakness in the lad’s game.”
Both managers involved in the game – Arsene Wenger and Maurico Pochettino – also praised Kane. The former joked: “When you have scored the number of goals he has scored, if you don’t put him in there somebody else will give him a passport.”
Pochettino added more conservatively: “Harry showed today that he is a great player, with a great performance, but my idea is that he can improve still and we need to push him to develop his potential because his potential is massive, but it was a fantastic performance today.”
Hodgson was in attendance on Saturday and watched as Tottenham moved above Arsenal into fifth place in the Premier League table, having initially fallen behind to Mesut Ozil’s opener, and can’t have failed to have been impressed by Spurs’ high-flying starlet.
Recent England selections have shown Hodgson’s need for a new striker. In November, he chose Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney, Arsenal’s Danny Welbeck, Liverpool’s Rickie Lambert and the uncapped Saido Berahino from West Brom.
Of those four players, Rooney is without a goal since Boxing Day having been deployed as a midfielder by Louis van Gaal, Welbeck has been sidelined through injury – making his return against Spurs – Lambert has struggled for game time, scoring just three times all season, and Berahino has found himself out in the cold following claims he wants to move to a new club.
Yes, Daniel Sturridge has made a successful return to the Liverpool first-team and will no doubt be back involved for the next set of qualifiers, but there is still plenty for Hodgson to ponder regarding who to include, and who to leave out.
Despite his age, Kane’s strength and power make him unlike any player Hodgson currently has at his disposal. Choosing Kane should be a given, but what remains to be seen is whether he’ll start and instantly be given the sort of responsibility Murphy believes he deserves.
So few quality England strikers have come through in recent years, so Kane’s is a talent that must be nurtured in right way and made the most of. If Kane, Rooney, Sturridge and Raheem Sterling can form an understanding in the coming months, then we have an attacking quartet good enough to frighten anyone.
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