Shaw, Kane and Rashford

Shaw: Harry Kane is the 'best in the world'

Monday 21 June 2021 10:39

Luke Shaw has defended his England team-mate and captain Harry Kane against criticism after the Tottenham Hotspur striker failed to find the net in his country's first two games at Euro 2020.

Kane was substituted off in England's disappointing 0-0 draw with Scotland last Friday but Shaw, who impressed from the start in that game, insists the 27-year-old remains the most crucial part of the side.

In fact, Shaw believes Kane is “the best in the world”.

“There is no concern at all,” Shaw said.

“For me, Harry is the best striker in the world. He is a very important part of this team. In fact, almost the most important part of the team.

Kane was subbed off for United's Rashford on Friday.

“Whether he has been at his best or not, he is a crucial player for us.

“If his performances aren't as people expected, this happens in tournament football and you can score a goal at any moment. He is such a crucial player on and off the pitch. He has all our backing and I'm not worried at all.”

Kane was England's top goalscorer at the 2018 World Cup and his six-goal tally earned him the Golden Boot. In last season's Premier League, he was the top goalscorer as well as the top assist provider in the competition.

The pressure to perform with England is enormous. Manchester United fans have regularly seen our own players quickly come under fire when they're unable to immediately convert stellar club form into fiery international form in major competitions. Patience is harder to find on the international scene, when there's only a couple of fixtures to find your stride.

That pressure only grows when a player's future is up in the air as Kane's is. The Spurs striker has outlined his desire to leave the club, looking to lift silverware elsewhere.

England are set to qualify from Group D of Euro 2020 after picking up four points from their first two games. Victory against the Czech Republic on Tuesday would see the Three Lions top the group.

Shaw, who had not played for England since 2018 before his appearance in the World Cup qualifier against Albania in March, believes the Scotland draw will prove helpful for him and his team-mates.

“There is no denying there is a lot of disappointment,” he said.

“There should always be expectation. The team we have is undoubtedly very strong with the talent we have.

“Maybe this has brought us back down to earth and made us realise that it is not going to be easy. Every game is going to be tough.

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“Our aim is to be here for seven games and this is a point in the right direction. We will sit down and watch the game back and analyse what we have to do better because there are things that we could have done better as a team.

“Between us all we always demand high standards and that is a fact, we always have to deliver and try our best. Maybe in the Scotland game we weren’t at our best and that shows. But it is another clean sheet.

“We still have another big game on Tuesday and we have to forget about this one and be ready.”

England's final game of the group stages is on Tuesday evening with updates here on or the Official App. Elsewhere in Group D, Scott McTominay will start for Scotland as the Tartan Army aim for victory against Croatia and qualification for the knockout rounds.