HARRY KANE TO LEAD THE THREE LIONS AT THE WORLD CUP

England and Tottenham striker Striker Harry Kane will captain England at the World Cup in Russia, manager Gareth Southgate has announced.

Kane, 24, scored 41 goals in all competitions last season as Tottenham finished third in the Premier League.

Spurs team-mate Eric Dier and Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson have also skippered England recently.

“Harry has some outstanding personal qualities,” said Southgate, who told the England squad during a meeting at St George’s Park on Monday night.

Kane first captained England in last summer’s 2-2 World Cup qualifier in Scotland, where he scored a late equaliser, before going on to wear the armband on a further three occasions.

“I’m so excited for the World Cup, I can’t wait to be there and experience it,” he said.

“To lead the lads out, it’s going to be special.”

Kane, who has scored 12 goals in 23 appearances for his country, was described as a “meticulous professional” by Southgate.

“One of the most important things for a captain is that they set the standard every day,” he added.

“He has belief and high standards and it is a great message for the team to have a captain who has shown that it is possible to be one of the best in the world over a consistent period of time and that has been his drive.

“My feeling is that over the last 18 months in the camps that he’s been with us he has shown that he has got the desire to take that into a team environment and he recognises the importance of bringing others with him.”

England’s key World Cup dates
2 June v Nigeria (friendly at Wembley)
7 June v Costa Rica (friendly at Elland Road)
12 June Squad leaves for Russia
18 June v Tunisia (opening group game)
24 June v Panama (second group game)
28 June v Belgium (final group game)

Analysis

BBC chief football writer Phil McNulty

England manager Gareth Southgate was effectively making a choice from two as World Cup captain – Harry Kane or Jordan Henderson.

Southgate was clearly comfortable with either Tottenham’s striker or Henderson, who has captained Liverpool to Saturday’s Champions League Final against Real Madrid in Kiev.

In the end, he has gone with 24-year-old Kane and few who have seen him when he has worn the captain’s armband for England would argue with the wisdom of that decision.

Kane has shown that he can not only cope with the extra responsibility but thrive upon it, especially when his late equaliser rescued England from a World Cup qualifier defeat in Scotland last June.

He is an undisputed first-choice, will literally lead from the front and has the calm, measured personality on and off the pitch to deal with the unique demands of leading England at a major tournament.

The only question marks expressed have been whether a striker is the best position for a captain – but Southgate has chosen Kane knowing full well it will not stop Henderson from imposing his own force of personality, with or without the armband.

Source:bbc.com/sport