World news – England boss Gareth Southgate is grateful to have striker Harry Kane at the elite level


Belfast Telegraph



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By Mark Mann-Bryans, PA

Poland will be without top scorer Robert Lewandowski on Wednesday’s trip to Wembley, but England boss Gareth Southgate insists there is still a world-class striker to be seen will.

Lewandowski got a knee injury out of the way and prevented a showdown between Bayern Munich striker and English talisman Harry Kane.

The pair are both captains of their respective nations and the main goal threat. Kane scored 33 goals in 52 internationals and Lewandowski with a record 66 in 118 internationals for Poland.

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Lewandowski was in fatal form for club and country this season, scoring 47 goals in 42 games. However, he will be missing if Poland play England in a World Cup qualifier.

England are at the top of Group I after winning their first two games, but will have to face the toughest test so far on Wednesday – including when the visitors are without a key man.

Numerous comparisons have been made between Lewandowski and Kane, who has scored 28 goals in 47 games for England and Tottenham this season, and Southgate believes the pair are on a similarly elite level

« I think the two are similar in that. I think Lewandowski is also very good at his ability to help and there aren’t many nines in the world at the really elite level right now, » said er.

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“(Romelu) Lukaku is obviously one. The two boys we’re talking about are. I assume (Sergio) was Aguero.

“But you don’t get the profile of strikers that often, there are a lot more interchangeable strikers who can play as center strikers or long strikers and are devastating in those areas, like Kylian Mbappe who can play number nine but is usually just as effective in these broader areas.

“They’re hard to come by and when you have one like us, it gives you a point of reference, can lead the line, can link and, as we said the other day, not only is he the top scorer in the Premier League, he’s a fantastic player in our group for assists too. “

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While the Pole has collected 20 winners’ medals at Bayern and Borussia Dortmund, Kane has yet to pick up a trophy during his career.

While this has led to speculation, Kane could try to leave Spurs in the near future to to break that duck, but Southgate is pleased with the way his captain is leading the English squad forward.

« What excited me about Harry this week is that he’s been very positive about everything, » he said when he was asked about Kane’s future at club level.

« In his opinion, where the club is located, they are three points away from a place in the Champions League. The final of the League Cup can be happy. »

« That’s the only thing he talked to me about. From our point of view, he led the group very well again this week. »

Kane had spent 16 months without an English goal before he won the 2-0 win. Victory in Albania on Sunday put him in the lead within 20 goals of Wayne Bringing Rooney’s record.

« I know it shouldn’t matter, but I remember when Alan Shearer was with me as a player and those months of no games added to the time she didn’t score an English goal sounds a lot worse than it sometimes is. « 

 » It’s good that he buried that. He was very unhappy with the one that came in from the bottom of the bar as well.

« So he’s in a good place, he’s in a good place physically and we’re happy to have him before the Poland game. « 

Belfast Telegraph



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