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Harry Kane Should be England Captain – But Not Just Yet (20.03.17)

Harry Kane Should be England Captain – But Not Just Yet

Harry Kane image courtesy of Facebook

Credit: Harry Kane via Facebook.

Following what has undoubtedly been a sensational season in Spurs colours, there have been renewed calls in some quarters for Harry Kane to be appointed the next England captain.

At 31 years old and finding himself increasingly used as a substitute under Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho, Wayne Rooney is now in the twilight years of his career and one has to wonder how long England manager Gareth Southgate will continue to use him as skipper of the national side. Such doubts have led to a great deal of discussion on who his replacement may be, with Kane’s name consistently being mooted as a potential candidate.

With 19 league goals in 22 appearances this term – helped in no small part by the creative contributions of England teammate Dele Alli – Kane has quickly re-established himself as one of the world’s leading strikers.

Hailed as a role model both on and off the pitch due to his clean-living lifestyle, Kane shows a maturity that far exceeds his 23 years and, to Spurs fans in particular, he may seem the natural choice as the next man to lead his country.

However, despite being a prolific goalscorer at England Under-21 level, Kane has yet to translate his excellent domestic record into similar levels of greatness in the senior England team. Despite five international goals to his name, he is yet to score against world-class opposition in a competitive game, and was criticised – as were the rest of the team, for that matter – for a series of sub-par performances at Euro 2016.

Harry Kane image courtesy of Facebook

Credit: Harry Kane via Facebook.

Of course, it is difficult for a finisher to produce the goods when those around him are failing to create any opportunities, and Kane’s efforts were hampered by former England manager Roy Hodgson’s frankly bizarre tactic of employing the rangy striker to take corner kicks at the tournament.

With that in mind, Kane must look to prove himself on the international scene as a goalscorer first and foremost before talks of captaincy even enter the equation.

Before the month of March is finished, England face a favourable World Cup 2018 qualifying tie with Lithuania, where international football betting sites have them as odds-on favourites to triumph. Before that, however, they will take on the Germans in a friendly in Dortmund in what is sure to be a much tougher contest.

The exhibition match-up is a repeat of when the two sides met in Berlin 12 months ago; a game where, incidentally, Kane and Tottenham colleague Eric Dier both scored en route to Germany being downed 3-2. Ostensibly, both ties represented a fabulous opportunity for Kane to shine for the Three Lions.

As chance would have it, however, the striker will be forced to sit out both ties following the re-occurrence of the ankle injury that sidelined him earlier in the campaign. Adversity often makes players stronger, and Kane must look to prove that he has the minerals to handle the pressure of being able to perform consistently at both senior international and domestic level once he returns to action.

Providing he is able to come back in time for the summer and put together a promising string of performances in England's remaining Russia 2018 qualifying campaign – during which time he would do well to continue to learn from the side's more senior players – Kane's name is undoubtedly one that should be in the mix as the player to pull on the famous captain's armband. Whether that will be this year, next or even the year after however, remains to be seen.

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