Alan Shearer backs a ‘revitalised’ Harry Kane to lead England to Euro 2020 glory after breaking his drought against Germany… as former Three Lions striker says Gareth Southgate’s side ‘will be very difficult to stop’ should captain continue scoring
Alan Shearer believes Harry Kane will be ‘revitalised’ after opening his Euro 2020 account in England’s last-16 win against Germany hopes the Three Lions captain begins to hit form at the tournament.
The 27-year-old went goalless throughout the European Championships group stages but headed home a late clincher against Joachim Low’s side in the 2-0 victory at Wembley.
Shearer, who won the Euro 96 Golden Boot a quarter of a century ago, believes Gareth Southgate’s side will be a difficult side to stop should Kane click into gear and find his shooting boots again in the latter stages of the tournament.
Alan Shearer claims Harry Kane is now up and running at Euro 2020 after his Germany goal
Shearer claims the England captain is capable of firing the Three Lions to Euro 2020 glory
He told his BBC Sport column: ‘I know myself what a difference a goal makes for a centre-forward so I’m hoping we see a revitalised Harry Kane after he scored his first goal of Euro 2020 against Germany.
‘Things did not really click for Kane in the group stage for various reasons, including a lack of service.
‘It meant he did not have anything like the same impact he did in Russia, when he ended up scoring six goals and brought home the Golden Boot as the World Cup’s top scorer, but he is up and running now.
‘There were times in the first half on Tuesday where his movement wasn’t great and he looked a little bit flat and jaded but he kept going and got his goal, which might be the moment that changes everything and ignites his tournament.
Kane headed home a late clincher during the Three Lions’ 2-0 last-16 win over Germany
‘We know Kane is a world class striker, and we have reached the quarter-finals without seeing him anywhere near his best. If he does hit form, we are going to be very difficult to stop.’
Kane was criticised for a lack of presence in front of goal during England’s group stage matches against Croatia, Scotland and Czech Republic, with fellow forward Raheem Sterling stealing the scoresheet limelight in the three games.
Tottenham forward Kane was lambasted for missing a gilt-edged chance in the dying moments of the first-half against Germany, but his late header from Jack Grealish’s cross will be a major boost to the Three Lions skipper.
Like Kane, Shearer’s role as England’s main striker was questioned before he won the Golden Boot at Euro 96 as he had not scored for 21 months, but the BBC Sport pundit praised Three Lions boss Southgate for keeping faith with his main man.
The 27-year-old had previously struggled in the tournament and failed to score in the groups
Shearer added: ‘Gareth deserves a lot of credit for getting England to this stage, for his team selections as well as his tactics.
‘There were a lot of impatient people inside Wembley before kick-off on Tuesday, who wanted to see more attacking players on the pitch, but Gareth had a plan, and it worked.
‘It was the same when he went with Kieran Trippier at left-back against Croatia, and brought in Bukayo Saka against the Czech Republic.
Shearer praised England boss Gareth Southgate (right) for keeping his faith in Kane (left)
‘This time he decided to play three at the back against Germany, with Trippier as a right-sided wing-back. Again, he got it spot on – Luke Shaw on the left side was superb in the second half, driving forward.’
Sterling scored his third goal of the tournament to give England the lead over Germany with 15 minutes to go, before Kane’s header sealed a quarter-final spot against Ukraine on Saturday.
The winner of that tie will play Denmark or Czech Republic in the semi-finals, for a place in the July 11 final at Wembley.