Gareth Southgate believes the chance to become England’s record goalscorer will provide added motivation for Harry Kane as the Three Lions begin their Euro 2024 qualification campaign.
England begin their path to qualification for the European Championship with a tough fixture against defending champions Italy on Thursday night, a fixture which could see Kane move past Wayne Rooney as the nation’s outright leading scorer.
Kane has scored 53 goals in 80 appearances for England, level with Rooney’s record, but missed the chance to claim the record outright after missing a penalty during the World Cup quarter-final defeat to France in Qatar.
Southgate was asked on how Kane – who became Tottenham’s all-time record goalscorer last month – has responded to that disappointment and believes the chance to claim another landmark will be added motivation for the forward when England face the Azzurri in Naples.
“We have seen in his performances for his club he has put it behind him,” Southgate said at his pre-match press conference..
“I know he will have will have added motivation tomorrow night to come back and show everyone what he is about again in an England shirt.”
England reached the final of the European Championship in 2021 and will be considered among the favourites to win the 2024 tournament, which will be hosted in Germany.
Southgate has warned his side that past performances count for nothing however, and insists England must work hard to reach the finals after a tough qualification draw.
“We have to have the humility to work hard and qualify again. It is a great fixture to get that under way.”