What do England do if Harry Kane is not fit for the Euros?
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What do England do if Harry Kane is not fit for the Euros?

23/05/24 13:18

Yesterday, England announced their provisional squad for the upcoming European Championships, with all the talk being around some surprise names, such as Adam Wharton and Jarell Quansah.

However, nobody seems to be talking about Harry Kane, who missed Bayern Munich’s last two games of the season due to a back injury.

When asked yesterday at his press conference, Gareth Southgate said that ‘it is not something we are concerned about at this moment in time.’ It looks as if Kane will be fit for the tournament as there is still another 22 days until the tournament starts. Despite that, how could England line up if Kane was to miss a game, and what would be the best way to replace the record goal scorer?

Ollie Watkins – Straight Swap

The obvious answer would be Ollie Watkins, who contributed to 31 goals and assists in the Premier League this season. The Aston Villa striker has vastly improved on his all-round game, which has seen Villa finish 4th in the league. Nobody can replace what Harry Kane offers, however, the closest to his output in that position is undoubtedly Watkins.

Ivan Toney – Like for Like

In my opinion, of all the strikers that England have on offer, Ivan Toney is the one that is most similar to Kane. Watkins may have the output this season, however his movements may collide with whoever is at left wing. Toney offers similar traits to Kane, he sometimes likes to drop deeper or drift to receive the pass, but is also willing to stay high and wait. Also his overall play when he receives the ball in a non-goal scoring position is similar to Kane, as he has the ability to bring others into the attack and slow the play down to time the right pass. If Toney is to even make the squad for the tournament is a different question, however, he is the most similar replacement for Kane.

Jarrod Bowen AND Cole Palmer

This would be my preference if Kane was not on the pitch for England. Jarrod Bowen would start out on the left; however it would be necessary that he drifts inside on the attack to get in the best goal scoring positions. This would mean Cole Palmer would have a free role as a ‘false nine’, finding pockets of space to either get the shot off or find the right pass. Phil Foden would also be needed with this approach, as Foden can play somewhere between the left and the middle, to do the same as Palmer and find the pockets of space. This way of playing would give Foden and Palmer, arguably the two best players in the Premier League this year, the freedom to find the spaces and play, instead of possibly being stuck in a rigid position. I believe that Bowen is criminally underrated when in front of goal, as he can finish in all different scenarios, even with his head. This style would allow him to be in front of goal as often as possible.

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