Harry Kane advised he has England downside forward of Euro 2024 conflict with Denmark

Former England defender Wes Brown has warned that Gareth Southgate has a fresh problem to solve after Harry Kane’s ineffective display against Serbia.

Despite England bagging a 1-0 victory to kick-off their Euro 2024 journey, Kane seemed lost in the shuffle for much of the match. The team shone in the first half yet Kane was practically invisible, only getting a couple of touches. By full-time, he’d been involved a mere 24 times, a stark contrast to his usual dynamic role of dropping back to start attacks.

While Jude Bellingham and Bukayo Saka made positive impressions, Kane’s limited influence raised some eyebrows. With the Denmark game looming on Thursday (5pm), Brown believes Southgate must switch up his game plan and allow Kane to be England’s linchpin.

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Speaking on Reach’s new Euro Thrash podcast – which you can find on YouTube, Apple and Spotify – Brown said: “He’s the main guy, but he needs more of the ball, more service. Because Jude [Bellingham] is right behind him, likes to get on the ball wherever, so that doesn’t help Harry Kane with his touches and his lead-up play.

“It would be good if he could get more touches, bring more people into play and ultimately Harry [Kane] is there in the end as a six-yard man, getting into that space. That is where you want him.

“He is not the one who is going to turn defenders and sprint onto the ball, that is not his game. He’s getting the ball when we are moving up slowly and when we do get an opportunity, he will be in the right space.”

Former Manchester United legend Brown has dished out some tactical insight on Harry Kane’s role in the England squad, noting that while Kane isn’t the type to blaze past defenders, he’s a master at finding the right spot when the team advances gradually. Despite his strategic play, Kane was denied a goal by Serbia’s keeper Predrag Rajkovic’s stunning save.

Kane was tasked with the unfamiliar job of busying defenders and helping the midfield thrive against Serbia but it still took a stunning save to keep him from doubling England’s lead. Dishing out some tactical insight, Manchester United legend Brown believes that Southgate should not fall into the trap of relying too heavily on his midfield stars at Kane’s expense.

“You want him in the box. We need someone there to occupy the last two defenders so we can create some space around and I do think he does that well,” Brown added.

“Kane will be looking at it when we’ve got the ball in possession, he’ll know these lads are capable of creating and making things happen, and if one of the opposition messes up, I’ll be in that little bit of space to get a shot off and try and score.”

“He will be looking and thinking ‘I want to be in that game, I want to be the guy, I want to be the star who scores’, but teams do make it difficult for you these days.”

With a victory over Denmark, who previously tied with Slovenia, England is poised to secure their spot in the knockout stages. This upcoming clash marks the first encounter since England’s tight win against Denmark in the Euro 2020 semi-finals.

Watch and listen to Euro Thrash on YouTube, Apple Podcasts and Spotify with regular new episodes throughout Euro 2024.