With the Euros set to go ahead in the summer of 2021, how prepared are England with just over a year to go?
England’s captain and Tottenham striker, Harry Kane, was touch and go whether he would be fit enough to make the Euros, let alone have the impact fans expect of their main man. Kane, now England’s number one preferred striker choice, suffered a hamstring injury on New Year’s Day and was only expected to return during mid to late April.
The 26-year-old has scored eleven Premier League goals this campaign, contributing with two assists. His absence from the Spurs squad hasn’t gone unnoticed, who are currently on a six game winless streak, losing five. Within those five matches, Jose Mourinho’s side lost both Champions League legs to RB Leipzig and never threatened or looked like scoring across the 180 minutes. Harry Kane’s absence for his club has been sorely missed and many England fans were concerned about his fitness for the Euros.
It isn’t hard to see why England fans were worried. Harry Kane has been key to Gareth Southgate’s success with the Three Lions. Not only was he the top goalscorer at the last World Cup, where he scored a hat-trick against Panama, but he also scored the all-important winner against Croatia to put England into the semi-finals of the Nations League.
What was more concerning for England was the lack of alternatives. Jamie Vardy, who has very much been Leicester’s best striker for years, decided to walk away from international football. The now 31-year-old made the decision to focus on his club football.
It is not hard to see why Vardy retired early. Southgate favors the 4-5-1 or 4-3-3 formation with one striker up top. With Harry Kane being his preferred striker and captain, Vardy was struggling for game time for the Three Lions.
There were plenty of rumors that Southgate would potentially try and recall the Leicester striker with Harry Kane’s fitness very much in doubt, but this is now a question which we will now never know the answer to. The only one we can be sure of is if Harry Kane is 100% fit for the Euros next year, Jamie Vardy will be on his family vacation, rather than on the pitch.
The man to potentially fill Harry Kane’s boots might well have been Danny Ings. The Southampton striker has been in prolific form this campaign, scoring 15 Premier League goals – more than Sadio Mane, Raul Jimenez and Tammy Abraham.
The former Liverpool man has clearly impressed as his side have endured a relegation battle, but with only one international cap to his name, many wouldn’t have fancied England’s chances of winning their first-ever Euros with a lack of international experience leading the line. As it stands, international football betting suggests England are joint-favorites to win the Euros.
If Harry Kane is to remain fit for next summer’s tournament, England are likely to remain a relatively short price. Despite the tough circumstances the world is currently facing, England fans will be relieved to see their star striker fit and ready to take on the Euros next summer, especially with the semis and final being at the home of football, Wembley Stadium.