'On the bench': West Ham boss David Moyes thinks Tottenham player should be dropped by his country at the World Cup now
Kane picked up a foot injury in England’s opening game of the tournament against Iran and his fitness was a big talking point in the lead-up to Friday’s clash with the USA.
In that game, he did not look to be moving freely as the Three Lions laboured to a 0-0 draw and were dominated for large periods.
That has prompted Moyes to write in the Times that Kane should get a rest for the match against Wales to round off the group stages.
Moyes on Kane
He said: “This could be a game to start Harry Kane on the bench and bring him on, to conserve his energy. But we should trust Gareth’s call on it.
“He sees the players working, he trains them, he has all the medical reports, the fitness data, the analysis, the input from a good group of staff around him. He will know what’s right for his captain.
“Questioning of Kane’s performance against USA was part of the over-the-top reaction. The fact of the matter is that Kane is on the very cusp of being England’s all-time number one scorer and is always England’s best chance of a goal.
“The goal he created for Raheem Sterling against Iran was terrific and I don’t worry about him dropping deep at times.
“He does it brilliantly for Tottenham and it’s the natural progression for a certain type of striker as they get older. Wayne Rooney did it, Francesco Totti did it — they started making more and more goals for others, but still scored plenty themselves.”
England do still need a result tonight to top the group and that makes the conundrum over Kane a difficult one to balance.
It could be a risk for England to bench their top man if it means the team performance suffers and they limp into the knockout rounds with another poor display.
But a bit of foresight may be worthwhile if it means Kane gets a rest and a chance to get over his injury to a certain extent, with a potential last 16 game not until Saturday or Sunday.