Gary Neville has criticised the decision to involve Harry Kane in England’s double-header — saying the World Cup Golden Boot winner needs a rest.
Kane, who started Saturday’s 2-1 UEFA Nations League defeat to Spain, was on the bench for Tuesday’s friendly with Switzerland and the former Manchester United and England defender thinks he should have been given the time off after a gruelling four years.
‘I am concerned about Harry Kane,’ said Neville. ‘Since 2015 he has played 175 matches and he’s struggling. Forget the physical side, he needs a mental break as well.
‘I don’t think he should have been here for the two weeks. I think there is a welfare thing in terms of looking after players and he has not had enough of a break since 2015.’
Kane scored six goals as England reached the semi-final in Russia but Neville believes the 25-year-old ran out of steam in the last-16 penalty victory over Colombia.
‘It just seems obvious at this time, particularly with Harry,’ he said. ‘I do remember the last half an hour in the Colombia game and I thought he was done. He literally could not move. He needs a real break and that escape.’
Neville, who won 85 caps and served as Roy Hodgson’s assistant, says he suffered a similar issue in his own career.
‘I do remember a similar situation with myself accumulating from 1996 through to 1997 and 1998 the World Cup in France,’ he explained. ‘In 1999 I blew up and in 2000 I was finished for about six to eight months and I really struggled mentally and physically.
‘I am not saying Harry Kane is in the same situation because I don’t speak to him, but he just looks like he needs looking after.’