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Kane ´playing for himself´ at Euro 2024, says Aluko

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 29 Jun 2024

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Eni Aluko believes Harry Kane is somewhat “playing for himself” at Euro 2024, as she urged the England captain to stay upfield rather than dropping deep.

Kane, who scored in England’s 1-1 draw with Denmark, has been starved of opportunities so far, with the Three Lions’ attack struggling to spark.

The Bayern Munich forward, who scored 44 goals for the Bundesliga giants across all competitions in 2023-24, has had eight shots at the tournament, accumulating 1.06 expected goals (xG).

And former Lioness Aluko, who is a pundit for ITV Sport, suggested Kane, who has managed just 10 touches in the opposition box in total, is dropping too deep, to the detriment of Gareth Southgate’s team.

Speaking to Stats Perform at the Home of Adidas football in Berlin, Aluko said: “I have to preface everything I’m about to say by saying Kane is one of the greatest players we’ve ever seen for England, greatest goal scorers, but I think this tournament has made me realise that he sort of plays for himself a little bit.

“I don’t think this is a new conversation about Kane dropping deep I remember doing the World Cup two years ago and having this same conversation. So at some point, I think Harry has to realise that it’s not actually helping the team coming in, dropping deep, trying to play as a midfielder when we’ve got such talented midfielders who can do that.

“I know as a forward, a big part of that role is discipline. A big part of the position is keeping the pitch high, stretching the pitch so that you allow pockets for other people and trusting that they’re going to get it to you.

“So I would just like to see Harry play for the team a little bit more. It sounds crazy because it’s Harry Kane but I think at this point in his career he must know that it’s actually not the best thing for the team to keep dropping in so I’d like to see a little bit more discipline from him.”

Kane has been among the England players to hit out at the criticism the team has received from some of those in the media.

Aluko added: “I think as a pundit I always look at it from a very objective point of view. You can critique something and say these are the stats, these are the numbers, this is what I think without being personal.

“That’s quite an easy balance to strike, to be honest. I never go into games going, I’m going to go right in on that player. It doesn’t serve me to do that. So I think that we have a responsibility as pundits who’ve been there.

“Part of the reason why we’re on these panels and we’re talking about football is because we’ve been in those positions to understand that it’s not easy and it’s easier said than done.

“I’ve seen it gone a bit too far and I like to see the players, to be honest, bite back a little bit. I used to do that as a player a little bit, bite back. But ultimately, the players’ right of reply is on the pitch.

“There’s no need to try and get soundbites and all that stuff. That’s not really our job. Our job is to analyse what’s in front of us, critique what’s in front of us, use data, stats, to paint a picture for the audience back home to go right. Show people why it’s not good rather than sort of get into individuals and get personal.”

England face Slovakia in the last 16 on Sunday.

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