Gareth Southgate believes that Harry Kane is benefitting from a ‘settled’ England environment, amid the current Tottenham Hotspur ‘adaptation’.
The Three Lions skipper is in line to feature in the upcoming clash with Hungary on Tuesday night, with a victory for the Euro 2020 finalists set to all-but secure their place at the World Cup in Qatar next year.
In truth, international involvement has been something of a solace for the 28-year-old, following what’s been a turbulent last few months at club level, with Kane seemingly angling for a move away from Spurs over the summer, amid reported interest from Manchester City.
Despite his desire to make the switch to the Premier League champions, Daniel Levy’s refusal to sell his talisman and City’s failure to launch a significant bid saw the deal collapse, with the striker remaining in north London for another year at least.
Amid that transfer turmoil and following a late return to pre-season, Kane has endured a slow start to the new campaign, having yet to score in the league so far this term – after finishing top of the charts for both goals and assists last season.
Despite that current slump, Southgate has praised his captain’s ‘desire’ and admitted that the forward is likely benefitting with the national team due to the ‘settled’ nature of the environment
“What’s going on with his club is none of my business really,” Southgate said at a pre-match press conference. “In terms of what we ask him to do, I think we’ve obviously got a settled way of playing here. His teammates know him, he knows his teammates, he knows the patterns of play that we play towards.
“There are obviously some games that are against a lower level of opponent, where it’s slightly easier to score goals. But he’s scored against some of the biggest opponents for us.
“I can’t talk about the club but I think he feels settled in our environment. I think it’s an environment where he knows we have belief but we have pushed him.
“We want improvement from the team all the time. Of course, as the captain, he knows he has to set the standard in the training sessions every day as well. I can’t fault his application and dedication to what we’re doing. He’s got a real desire to go well with us.”
Kane’s recent league drought at club level has coincided with the arrival of new boss Nuno Espirito Santo, with Southgate believing it may take time for him to adjust to the ‘changes at the club’.
“Harry obviously scored three goals in three different matches for us in September so I didn’t sense any change in his approach with us,” Southgate said. “There’s a lot changes at the club, a new manager and new tactical formations. Like all players there will be an adaptation to that.”
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