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Gareth Southgate should have taken Harry Kane off immediately – Graeme Souness

England striker Kane sustained an ankle injury in the second half of Monday’s 6-2 win over Iran.

Harry Kane in action against Iran
Harry Kane in action against Iran

Former Scotland captain Graeme Souness believes England manager Gareth Southgate has to shoulder some of the responsibility for not doing more to protect Harry Kane.

The Football Association remain tight-lipped about the skipper’s fitness but it is understood the striker was due for a scan before Friday’s clash with the USA.

Kane took a knock in their 6-2 opening win over Iran but played on before eventually being substituted in the second half.

England v Iran – FIFA World Cup 2022 – Group B – Khalifa International Stadium
Harry Kane (left) was fouled by Morteza Pouraliganji (Martin Rickett/PA)

“It was a bad one. The lad’s (Morteza Pouraliganji) weight was on Harry’s ankle. He will have had micro-bleeds in that ankle and then you are still running on it for 27 minutes more,” the former Liverpool midfielder told ITV1.

“It’s totally wrong. He should have been off immediately and it should have been in ice, in an elevated position, immediately.

“It ain’t rocket science. He’s got history with a dodgy ankle; get him off. He needed saving from himself.”

Ex-England defender and former assistant coach Gary Neville admits he is worried about Kane’s injury as he does not believe there is a like-for-like replacement.

“I’m a little bit worried as England are being a bit coy about it,” he said.

“There is no direct replacement for him, no-one can link play like him.

“I think (Callum) Wilson and (Marcus) Rashford are good when there is space in behind but when you have a team with a packed defence you struggle when you don’t have a player who is good with his back to goal.”

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