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World Cup the stage for Kane to shine, says Southgate

Harry Kane - cropped England's Harry Kane (source: Getty Images)

Gareth Southgate is backing Harry Kane to shine at the World Cup next year and believes the Tottenham striker can lead the scoring charts at the tournament.

The 24-year-old forward is set for his first World Cup appearance after a fantastic return of 12 goals in 23 international caps after making his debut for the Three Lions in 2015.

Having won the Premier League Golden Boot in each of the last two seasons, Kane is well established as England’s main man up front and captained the side in a 2-2 draw with Scotland earlier this year.

Southgate has considerable faith in his young England side and believes the tournament in Russia is the perfect opportunity to make an impression.

Speaking to Omnisport at Friday’s group stage draw, he said: “I think the challenge for all of our players [is], we have a squad where not many of our players have won trophies yet or medals.

“But this is the stage to show what they’re capable of, and if you want to be remembered as a really top player then World Cups are the stage to do it.”

While Kane carries the hopes of a nation on his shoulders, Southgate does not believe the Spurs man can lead the nation to glory by himself and knows his team-mates will have an impact on the striker’s return in front of goal next year.

When asked if Kane could top the scoring charts in Russia, Southgate responded: “Well, that depends on the team playing well and creating chances for him, and us progressing a good way through the tournament.

“He’s a super finisher, his goal scoring record at the moment, over the last few years in England is top, we have a lot of belief in him.”

England’s only top-scorer at a World Cup was Gary Lineker in 1986, when he netted six times before the Three Lions were controversially knocked out by an Argentina side led by Diego Maradona.

Kane will meet some familiar faces in next year’s tournament against a Belgium side that includes Spurs team-mates Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen and Mousa Dembele.

England will also face Tunisia and World Cup debutants Panama in Group G, starting their campaign against the North African side in Volgograd on June 18.

 

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