John Stones rates Harry Kane as a striker in Erling Haaland’s class as he backed the England captain to break his scoring canard at the World Cup in Qatar.
England advanced to the round of 16 without needing a goal from their skipper, scoring seven points in group games and scoring nine times in the process, both unbeatable in this competition.
That Kane didn’t score any of those goals came as a surprise, but he has three assists to his credit, more than any other player in the group stage, and is making an important contribution by not putting the ball into the net.
Four years ago in Russia, Kane’s six goals won him the Golden Boot, and he could still show great form in the next two weeks.
Like it or not, Stones has no doubts as England’s No. 9.
Asked if Kane is a player of the same caliber as Haaland, a Stones teammate at Manchester City, the English defender suggested they were comparable in quality.
“Definitely yes, it’s hard to say for sure. Erling is new to our league and Harry has been in it all his life,” Stones said.
“Players like these two always stand out. Maybe they say “does he need a rest or not?”, [but] we never think so.
“I think players who usually score like Harry and want to score, you all saw his assist the other day was incredible, but those players are also big team players.
“Things that are not talked about, location, heading from corners, which we as defenders really appreciate, and what he brings to the team as a leader and as a person, as a presence, can sometimes outweigh what happens or the outcome of things. “.
Given Kane’s varied qualities, England’s players are not looking for the captain to score ahead of Sunday’s round of 16 clash with Senegal. There’s a time for everything, it seems to be the message.
Haaland and Kane have both already shown prolific performance in the Premier League this season, with 18 and 12 goals for City and Tottenham respectively, finishing first and second on the scorers table.
While Haaland is missing out on World Cup matches due to Norway failing to qualify, Kane has a chance to lead England to glory a year after they finished second in the European Championship.
Looking again at Holland and Kane, the Stones said: “They are both incredible players and incredible in their own right.
“Garry has always been incredible with me, he was incredible to play with and I’m sure he’ll be on the record soon.”