‘No one can replace the quality he has’: Gary Neville admits he is ‘worried’ over Harry Kane’s injury, with the England captain doubtful ahead of Friday’s World Cup game against the US after spraining his ankle damaged in the opening win over Iran
- Harry Kane may be in a race against time to be fit for England’s next appearance
- The captain of Three Lions suffered an ankle injury on Monday in the 6-2 win over Iran
- After a scan this week, the English staff feel that he has no major damage
- But Gary Neville worries about the prospect of lining up without Kane
- England’s second World Cup match is against the US on Friday evening
- Click here for the latest World Cup 2022 news, schedules, live action and results
Gary Neville admits he is ‘worried’ about Harry Kane after the England captain suffered an ankle injury in Monday’s first World Cup victory over Iran.
Kane sent off a tough challenge from Morteza Pouraliganji in the 48th minute of England’s 6-2 win, although despite appearing to be in great pain, he played on for nearly half an hour in Doha.
The Tottenham Hotspur striker underwent a scan on Wednesday and Three Lions staff believe he suffered no major damage, meaning there is still optimism he could play in Friday’s game against the US.
Gary Neville admits he is ‘concerned’ about ankle injury Harry Kane suffered against Iran
Still, Neville is concerned about the prospect of England lining up without their star man, insisting there is no adequate replacement for him in attack.
“I’m a little worried, they’re a little hesitant about it,” he said on ITV Sport.
“I don’t think Gareth is a manager who wants to play mind games. I’m worried about it. There is no direct replacement for him, no one can replace the quality he has.
“You saw the cross the other day. [Callum] Wilson and [Marcus] Rashford are good when there is space in the back but when there is a deep defense they struggle with their backs to goal, they don’t have the same quality.
Kane delivered a heavy tackle during England’s 6-2 win over Iran at the World Cup on Monday
Neville fears for the Three Lions if their star striker is unavailable for Friday’s game against the US
“We’ve seen what Kane has done in tournaments over the years, his assists are as good as his goals. It would be a major concern in leadership and quality.”
Should Kane miss Friday’s meeting with the US, or even another match at the tournament, Neville believes England boss Gareth Southgate is to blame for not knocking him out sooner.
“I’m watching with the manager’s head,” he continued, “I think this kid has a history of problems with his ankles. He played on, he was wrong. I think he has to go now.
“He had 27 minutes of walking on that ankle. Some players need to be saved from themselves. He thinks there are goals in this game against Iran. He thinks I want to stay. You don’t have to risk Harry anymore.
The England staff believes that Kane has not suffered major damage to his ankle despite this
“I’ve written about this league before coming here, I’m not sure when they play real teams that will score different goals than Harry Kane. I see that as avoidable. I think that depends on the manager.
“The player wants to be top scorer again and will therefore act selfishly, he had to be saved from himself.”
Neville’s co-expert Graeme Souness agreed with his verdict, adding: “He rocked that ankle quite a bit, he probably had a bleed there, he played on for another 27 minutes.
“He should have left immediately and should have had it in ice and in an elevated position. He had to be rescued from himself immediately.’