Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane is set to make his full England debut against Italy in Turin on Tuesday night, according to his national team coach Roy Hodgson. However, Rooney has warned Kane to watch out for the physical aspect which the Italians bring to the game.
The 21-year-old, who has scored 29 goals in all competitions for Spurs this season, made his senior debut by coming off the bench in England’s 4-0 Euro 2016 qualifying victory over Lithuania on Friday. He scored his first goal for England after just 79 seconds and will now start against the Italians.
What a turn around for a player, who was on the verge of leaving the club in January 2014. After numerous loan spells, the owners seems to have lost faith in the young forward and were about to sell him. But, then interim manager Tim Sherwood was against it and kept Harry with him.
Even though he did not make a notable contribution that campaign, the striker gradually found his feet when their present manager Mauricio Pochettino gave him more opportunities. Although most of his chances only came in the cup and Europa League games.
After scoring numerous goals in the cup matches and as a substitute in league games, finally Pochettino gave him his first league start. Since then Kane has never looked back. He started to score numerous goals in all competitions. Kane has scored an impressive 14 goals in 11 games since the turn of the year.
His hattrick against Leicester City means, Kane has equalled Jurgen Klinsmann, the last Spurs player to score 29 goals in a single season (1994-95). If Kane scores six more goals, he will equal Gary Lineker’s 35 goals scored for Spurs in 1991/92.
Kane is now level with Diego Costa at the top of the scoring charts with 19 league goals and he is ahead of second place Sergio Aguero, who has 17 goals to his name. To put it into further context, only Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Alexandre Lacazette have a better goals to minute ratio in Europe’s top five leagues.
England head coach Hodgson said in a news conference: “Harry Kane will make his full debut, playing from the start and Wayne Rooney will captain the team.”
Hodgson is also relishing at the prospect of seeing Kane and Wayne Rooney linking together. He said: “I think it’s nice to see the two of them on the field together. They’ve played a lot in training and the other night they could have but they didn’t because Harry took Wayne’s place. So I am pleased to see them playing together in this game and Harry certainly deserves his chance.”
Wayne Rooney has offered a word of advice to Kane by asking him to watch out for Italy’s dirty tricks. “With Italian defenders, especially the clever defenders, they’ll do anything to try and stop you. I think Italy’s a passionate country. They love their football, they are probably the closest in Europe to South American teams” Rooney said.
“They’re tough to play against, well-organised, they make it as difficult as they can for us. Italy are the best in Europe at doing that. You need to be aware of that and not get frustrated. At the minute what Harry is doing he needs to continue doing.
“He’s taking the ball, he’s a handful for defenders, he’s running at the defenders and getting shots off at goal. That’s all he has to do. I’m sure if he does that the way he has been, he’ll be fine,” Rooney added.