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Southgate warns England stars that not even Harry Kane is ‘undroppable’

Gareth Southgate has warned his England squad that even captain Harry Kane is not ‘undroppable’.

The Tottenham forward continued his fine goalscoring record for the national side with a hat-trick in Saturday’s 4-0 win over Bulgaria at Wembley, moving ahead of Sir Geoff Hurst in the all-time standings after scoring his 25th goal in just 40 caps.

Despite Kane’s prolific record on the international stage, Southgate says no player in his squad commands an automatic starting place, including his talismanic striker and captain.

“In the summer we decided that he wasn’t ready to start, so I don’t think you can have a player that is undroppable, because that is a dangerous route for any team and it is not a healthy position for a player,” Southgate said in his press conference ahead of Tuesday’s qualifier against Kosovo.

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“But it is safe to say we won’t be dropping him for tomorrow.

“His level of performance is so high that dropping him would be a rare occurrence.

“We might freshen the team a bit, that will be important. We don’t need to, everyone is fit and available.

“We need to make sure we get the balance right.

“We need to get the right attacking and defending profiles to make sure we win the game.”

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See also – Southgate hails England’s ‘exciting’ attacking options