WORLD CUP CONFIDENTIAL: England 'can't cope' without Harry Kane

‘We should be biting our nails. England CAN’T cope without him’: Three Lions will struggle to go all the way if Harry Kane’s injury rules him out, Sportsmail experts tell WORLD CUP CONFIDENTIAL

  • Harry Kane will undergo a scan on his ankle after suffering an injury against Iran
  • The England captain was substituted during the Three Lions’ 6-2 win on Monday
  • Gareth Southgate initially suppressed fears but Kane could well be out long-term
  • Sportsmail’s Oliver Holt says fans should be ‘biting their nails’ ahead of the scan
  • Holt thinks England would struggle to win the World Cup without their star man 
  • Click here for the latest World Cup 2022 news, fixtures, live action and results 

England’s chances of winning the World Cup will take a ‘heavy blow’ if Harry Kane’s ankle injury against Iran is worse than first feared.

The Three Lions captain was substituted in the second-half during England’s triumphant 6-2 victory against Iran on Monday and Sportsmail has since revealed that Kane is set to have a scan on his ankle ahead of the second match versus USA.

Although Gareth Southgate initially quelled fears of long-term injury after the match, there are growing concerns that Kane could be out for longer than first anticipated, and Sportsmail’s Oliver Holt admitted England fans should be ‘biting their nails’ ahead of his scan on Wednesday.

Harry Kane is set to undergo a scan on his ankle ahead of England’s World Cup clash with USA

Daily Mail Chief Sports Reporter Holt was speaking as part of Sportsmail and MailPlus‘ daily videocast ‘World Cup Confidential’. It appears on MailOnline every morning of the tournament and can be found on our YouTube channel.  

‘I think we should be biting our nails and I don’t think we can cope (without him),’ Holt confessed. 

‘To a level we can cope but I don’t think we can win the World Cup without Harry Kane. I think we can still progress in the competition, but I think he’s our most important player, I don’t think he gets the credit he deserves.

‘And I think for obvious reasons, his kind of contributions were overshadowed a little bit against Iran because of the performances of, well Jude Bellingham in particular.

‘But I thought Kane was superb against Iran. He links everything, he sets plays up, he holds the ball up. 

‘He’s a really clever player and I think it would be a really heavy heavy blow if he were ruled out of the tournament. I think we could cope without him for a couple of games, but it would be a heavy blow if he were to be ruled out.’

The captain went down holding his ankle in the second-half against Iran and was substituted

Despite heading to Qatar as the 2018 World Cup Golden Boot winner, Kane has emerged a pivotal part of England’s creativity in setting up chances for the likes of Raheem Sterling, Mason Mount and Bukayo Saka.

Arsenal legend Martin Keown joined Holt on the videocast and lauded Kane’s creativity during the World Cup opener, comparing him to former Three Lions star David Beckham.

Keown said: ‘He is adapting really well because we’re becoming much more of a team now. If you look at Bellingham making runs from deep, Mount getting in the box, Kane dragging people out. 

‘Kane was almost looking like Beckham in wide positions the other night, which is about the best compliment I can give him because he’s the best crosser of the ball I’ve ever seen. 

Martin Keown has compared Kane’s playmaking to that of former England star David Beckham

‘Kane’s matching him now with those assists. It’s vitally important that he remains fit for the rest of this tournament. I just hope it’s a preliminary thing, they just want to check, make sure everything’s okay. 

‘I know he’s been doing a lot of rehab work on those ankles, he’s been doing that throughout his career now, strengthening all the time. 

‘He got up and looked okay so let’s hope it’s precautionary and Harry Kane takes to the field again because he is super important to what we’re trying to achieve.’

After the victory against Iran, Southgate played down Kane’s injury and predicted the forward would be ‘fine’ to feature against the USA.

In-form Newcastle star Callum Wilson would be the favourite to replace Kane against the USA

He said: ‘I think Harry’s fine. It looked like a bad tackle but he carried on in the game. We took him off because we felt it was a moment in the game we could do that.’

If Kane is ruled out for Friday’s clash, Sportsmail’s Women’s Football Correspondent Kathryn Batte believes Southgate should opt for in-form Newcastle forward Callum Wilson in attack.

She said: ‘I think it depends on the team but he’ll be tempted to go with Callum Wilson. It’s a like for like but obviously (Marcus) Rashford’s pace can get you further up the pitch. If I was Gareth, I’d probably go with Callum Wilson.’

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