Former Manchester United midfielder Luke Chadwick believes Harry Kane and Jack Grealish are England’s two most important players at Euro 2020 this summer.
The Tottenham striker has just had a superb season in the Premier League, while Grealish has stood out at an over-achieving Aston Villa side, with both players looking like they could shine for bigger clubs as well as for their national team.
England haven’t looked particularly convincing in their friendly matches building up to this summer’s big tournament, managing 1-0 wins over Austria and Romania.
Chadwick hopes to see more from Gareth Southgate’s side once he has his best players available, with some from Chelsea and Manchester City not yet involved due to their participation in the Champions League final.
Speaking to CaughtOffside, Chadwick says he hopes Southgate will be able to utilise his creative players like Grealish, Mason Mount, Raheem Sterling and Phil Foden, while he also expects Ben Chilwell is likely to start ahead of Man Utd ace Luke Shaw at left wing-back.
“It’s been a bit of a strange start, a bit stop-start. It’s important Southgate works out how to get the most creative players in the team,” Chadwick said.
“For me the most important players, if they’re going to win the tournament, are Harry Kane and Jack Grealish. It looks like Grealish, who plays wide on the left a lot for Villa, could be used in a more central role for England. If him and Kane can get an understand it gives England a massive opportunity.
“I think those two are the key to England’s success, but it’ll also be key if Harry Maguire is fit. With Maguire and Stones it gives a different look to the back three or four, so it’s going to be interesting and exciting to see how that works out.
“I think a back three would benefit Harry Maguire, coming back from an injury, where the work load is not so strong. I do think the way Southgate picks the team, it would be Shaw at left-back in a back four, but it looks like Ben Chilwell will be preferred if it’s wing-backs in there, a position he’s played well in for Chelsea.
“The main thing is getting the maximum out of the creative players – in a 4-2-3-1 it gives you the option of Grealish at number ten, and then Foden, Mount, Rashford or Sterling, but if it was a back three, then it’s probably three up top, one of those Kane, so it probably pushes Grealish into more of a wide position. He’s got decisions to make, but I think he will start with a back three.”