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Kane ‘super positive’ about Tottenham’s prospects, says Southgate

Pushed by reporters on speculation about his Spurs future ahead of Sunday’s World Cup qualifier against Albania, Kane said “we’ll see where we go” after this summer’s European Championship.

Kane scored and assisted Mason Mount as England beat Albania 2-0 and they face Poland at Wembley in another qualifier for Qatar 2022 on Wednesday.

Afterwards, Southgate described a question about whether he wanted Kane to be playing in the Champions League next season as “a grenade” and said the forward had only been positive about Tottenham’s prospects for the remainder of the campaign.

“What’s pleased me about Harry this week is that he’s been super positive about everything,” the England manager said.

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“His view of where the club are at is that they’re three points off a Champions League place, with a League Cup final to look forward to.

“That’s the only thing he’s discussed with me.

“From our point of view, he’s led the group really well again this week.”

Speculation about Kane’s future is driven by his desire to win silverware, with Spurs aiming to win a first trophy since 2008 in next month’s EFL Cup final against Man City.

Southgate has admitted he wants more of his squad to have experienced winning silverware ahead of this summer’s Euro 2020 but stopped short of saying he hoped Spurs would beat the champions-elect.

“I don’t think that would be particularly popular if I walked in and said that to [Man City quartet] Raheem [Sterling], John [Stones] and Kyle [Walker] or Phil [Foden]!” he said.

“Of course we want all of our players to be involved in success. But we’ve got teammates playing against each other so in many respects we can’t lose in that one.”

Kane’s diving header from Luke Shaw’s cross in Tirana was his first England goal since November 2019, ending a run of six barren internationals, and he turned provider in the second half, teeing up Mount with a crisp pass.

“I’m pleased that he’s got his goal,” Southgate added. “I know it shouldn’t matter but I remember when Alan Shearer was with me as a player and those months without matches add on to that period where you’ve not scored an England goal, so it sounds a lot worse than it is at times.

“It’s good that he was able to bury that. He was very unfortunate with the one that came off the underside of the bar as well.

“So he’s in a good place, he’s physically in a good place and we’re pleased to have him ahead of the game against Poland.”

Broadcaster ITV’s punditry team of Ian Wright, Ashley Cole and Roy Keane were critical of Kane for dropping deep against Albania, even though he has more assists than anyone else in the Premier League this season.

Southgate said: “I think Harry senses the moments to drop deep and create space for others and just to give defenders a different picture or problem to think about.

“In my view his football intelligence is very good, the key is if he is dropping deep then we have to have runners in behind which we did with Raheem, Phil and Prowsy [James Ward-Prowse].

“I don’t think in itself its a problem, to mix the game up and give the opposition different things to deal with is fine.”


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