Gareth Southgate supported Harry Kane to get back in shape with England as they prepare for October’s World Cup qualifiers.
Southgate’s side are ready to take on Andorra and Hungary, but their captain Kane arrives in shape for next month’s national team with Tottenham.
Despite winning the Premier League Golden Boot last season, the 28-year-old has struggled this season, failing to score or assist in 378 minutes in the top flight, attempting just nine shots and creating only four chances.
Kane’s international form, by contrast, has not diminished, with the striker scoring in 15 consecutive games between World Cup and European qualifiers.
However, Southgate stood firm on his stance on his star striker as he expressed his support for Kane, who is in his longest drought since August 2016.
“I can only speak from England’s point of view,” Southgate told reporters when asked about Kane’s lack of form on Thursday after announcing his 23-man squad.
“Every two months I sit here and have to answer similar questions, then Harry comes out and scores a lot of goals for us.
“This is the life of a high profile player: you have to accept that there will be that speculation and that intensity, that analysis of performance.
“Last month we played three games, played all three and scored goals in all three. He is still a fundamental part of what we do and I am sure he will be very motivated when he comes to visit us next week.
“He is approaching a series of incredible scorers. We’ve had the sad news of Jimmy Greaves in the last couple of weeks, and Harry is in that line of incredible names. “
Tottenham were recently defeated 3-1 by fierce rivals Arsenal, with Kane making just five passes and recording 25 touches in 90 minutes at Emirates Stadium.
Young Emile Smith-Rowe was on the scoresheet for the Gunners and, despite impressing, Southgate wants the Arsenal Academy product to keep its shape if it is to earn a spot on the England squad.
“[Smith-Rowe] He is a player that we like a lot and he was very close to forming this team, ”Southgate replied when asked about a potential call-up for the 21-year-old.
“Right now I don’t want to involve other players younger than the Under 21s. They have to earn that right for a longer period.
“I think his performance against Tottenham was very good. We also know how he ended last season. I can only say that he is a player that we like very much and he was close to us. “