In Depth

England boss Gareth Southgate is confident Harry Kane and Marcus Rashford will be fit for Euro 2020

Three Lions chief leaves the door open for Phil Foden and backs under-fire keeper Jordan Pickford

England head coach Gareth Southgate says injured attacking duo Harry Kane and Marcus Rashford could return to full fitness ahead of this summer’s Uefa European Championship. 

Tottenham striker Kane has been out of action since New Year’s Day with a hamstring tear while Manchester United’s Rashford suffered a back injury in mid-January. 

Both players had been major doubts for Euro 2020, but Southgate is confident they will line up at this summer’s tournament. 

When asked about captain Kane, Southgate told Sky Sports: “As far as I am concerned he’s on schedule, with all the information that we’ve had we know that he is progressing well. 

“He’ll give himself the best chance of being fit by following everything to the absolute letter. I am not surprised by that news and of course it is good to hear.”

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Club football is the first priority

As for Rashford, Southgate says that the Man Utd star, and Kane, must make a return to club football the first priority.  

The Three Lions boss added: “[I am] realistic, really. Harry and Marcus Rashford have both had serious injuries, they are both long-term injuries, but both of them will do everything within their powers to be fit and ready for us in the summer.

“The first priority for both of them is to get back playing for their clubs, they are players of Manchester United and Tottenham first and foremost. All being well they will be available for us in the summer. 

“I know that both of them want to affect their club’s season and the end of this season. 

“They are both optimistic and both are very focused on their recovery. It’s frustrating for any player to have long-term injuries. Both clubs are pushing for the top four so they are missing big games, big European ties they are missing. 

“We have to make sure for both it’s not a case of just being fit for us, they have long careers ahead of them as well.”

Foden to get call up?

With Kane and Rashford still on the sidelines, the Daily Mirror reports that Southgate is likely to call up Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin for this month’s international friendlies against Italy and Denmark. 

The Guardian says that another player who could feature in the senior squad this month is Manchester City’s Phil Foden. The 19-year-old midfielder was in superb form as City beat Aston Villa 2-1 to win the Carabao Cup at Wembley on Sunday. 

When asked about the City starlet, Southgate said: “The door’s open for everybody. We’ve got 70 English players in the league and when they’re of the quality of a player like Phil then of course the door’s open.”

Pickford praised 

Southgate also backed under-fire goalkeeper Jordan Pickford. The Everton stopper made a mistake against Manchester United at the weekend and has been subject to criticism by pundits. 

However, Southgate praised his No.1 and said: “His performances for us throughout have been outstanding. I think he has been a key part of some big results we have had. 

“I think that is clear to everybody but in goal, if you are the England goalkeeper, you are under the spotlight. I am expecting him to bounce back. 

“The weekend goal is one he would want to do better with but then he had some outstanding saves at the end of the game. That is the life of a goalkeeper.”

Uefa European football championship trophy Euro 2020

Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

England’s football fixtures

International friendly games ahead of Euro 2020
  • Friday 27 March: England vs. Italy (Wembley; 8pm live on ITV) 
  • Tuesday 31 March: England vs. Denmark (Wembley; 8pm live on ITV) 
  • Tuesday 2 June: Austria vs. England (Vienna; 7.45pm live on ITV) 
  • Sunday 7 June: England vs. Romania (Villa Park; 6.15pm live on ITV)

England’s Euro 2020 group fixtures

Sunday 14 June 
  • Group D: England vs. Croatia (Wembley; 2pm live on BBC)
Friday 19 June 
  • Group D: England vs. Play-Off Winner C* (Wembley; 8pm live on ITV)
Tuesday 23 June 
  • Group D: Czech Republic vs. England (Wembley; 8pm live on ITV)

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