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Trent Alexander-Arnold dismisses talk of England dropping Harry Kane and insists Liverpool pal Van Dijk would LOVE it

ENGLAND penalty hero Trent Alexander-Arnold says Virgil van Dijk and Holland would love it if Harry Kane was dropped.

Captain Kane is struggling at Euro 2024 and faces calls to be benched for the semi-final blockbuster with the Netherlands in Dortmund.

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There have been calls to drop Harry Kane for the semi-final[/caption]

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But Trent Alexander-Arnold insists team-mate Virgil van Dijk would love that to happen[/caption]

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He has backed Kane to lead by example once again[/caption]

But Alexander-Arnold says Liverpool club-mate Van Dijk will be pleased if the Bayern Munich striker is axed.

He said: “Anyone facing England would like to see Harry Kane not playing. We’re talking about England’s record scorer.

“He’s scored two in this tournament, helped us win games and,  as our captain, leads by example and puts everything into games.

“People will always have opinions but he is leading us into a semi-final.

“He is part of the reason why the environment is such a good one in camp. And he is a reason why we’re heading into a semi.”

Kane, 30, boasts 65 goals in 96 Three Lions games.

But he looks off the pace and the suspicion remains he has not fully  recovered from a back issue that saw him miss the end of Bayern’s season.

Kane was subbed in three of England’s five games — including during Saturday’s quarter-final with the Swiss.

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He went off in extra-time before the shootout victory, shortly after hurtling into Gareth Southgate’s dugout.

Yet the ex-Spurs star hit 44 goals in 45 games in his maiden Bayern campaign.


And Alexander-Arnold, 25, added: “You just know he is a threat. Anything in and around the box, you must be on red alert. He is the best finisher that I’ve seen or played with.”

Pundit Ian Wright claims it is time for Southgate to “make a decision” up front.

On Stick to Football: The Overlap Special, ex-England and Arsenal striker Wright declared: “Kane’s not sharp, he’s not in the box — and now we know Ivan Toney can go to that level.

“We’re going to need to make that decision.”

Yet Southgate looks set to stick with Kane while Marc Guehi could replace Ezri Konsa after his ban, with fit-again Luke Shaw pushing to start on the left.

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Alexander-Arnold added that Kane was a big reason why the environment at the camp was so good[/caption]

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Kane has scored twice for England at Euro 2024[/caption]

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The squad were seen on a run before their crunch semi-final against the Netherlands[/caption]

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Elsewhere, Luke Shaw may be handed a start if he is deemed fit enough[/caption]

Southgate changed his system… now he has to change the players if England are going to win Euros, writes Charlie Wyett

GARETH SOUTHGATE changed the system… but he now needs to start switching his players, writes Charlie Wyett.

And that not only means for his starting XI for the semi-final in Dortmund on Wednesday, but also during the match itself.

Not for the first time, Southgate nearly paid the price for his bloody-minded refusal to react with substitutions and you have to wonder if he is ever going to learn.

Probably not.

At least the England manager reverted to a three-man defence which served him well at the World Cup in 2018 and, on occasions, during Euro 2020.

Kyle Walker, John Stones and Ezri Konsa generally did well at the back with Kieran Trippier and Bukayo Saka the wing-backs.

But England still had a complete lack of balance as they had Trippier, a right-footer on the left, and Saka, a left-footer on the right.

It really made no sense whatsoever. Southgate will have his reasons but it was still a case of putting a square peg into a round hole.

Although Saka was England’s most dangerous player for long periods, not for the first time, playing Trippier on the left simply did not work.

And this is why Luke Shaw, if fit, simply HAS to start the next game.

England are through by the skin of their teeth and maybe their name is written on the trophy.

Southgate is actually England’s second most successful manager behind Alf Ramsey although today, it still does not feel like it.

In his eight years as manager his England team have won eight tournament knockout games, compared to six in half a century before him.

This is the most sustained period of success in the history of the men’s England football team.

Ultimately, though, Southgate will only be celebrated as a true success if England – despite being rubbish for most of this tournament – come home with the trophy.

Read all of Charlie Wyett’s Euro 2024 articles.

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