Southgate: Kane’s Absence Presents Opportunity for Watkins and Toney

England manager Gareth Southgate has emphasized that Harry Kane’s absence due to an ankle injury provides a “brilliant opportunity” for Ollie Watkins and Ivan Toney to showcase their talents in the national team’s attack.

Ahead of England’s upcoming friendlies against Brazil and Belgium, Kane, along with Cole Palmer and Jordan Henderson, is set to miss out on the squad due to injury concerns. Southgate confirmed Kane’s unavailability for the Brazil fixture and expressed doubts about his participation against Belgium. However, this situation opens the door for Watkins from Aston Villa and Brentford’s Toney to step up.

Southgate stated, “It’s a brilliant opportunity for other players,” highlighting the chance for Watkins and Toney to make their mark. When asked about the competition between the two forwards for a spot in the squad, Southgate explained that while both players possess different attributes, the final decision depends on various factors, including injury status and versatility within the squad.

Reflecting on the bigger picture, Southgate’s tenure as England manager faces a crucial juncture, with his contract expiring in December 2024. As England gears up for the Euros, Southgate aims to lead the team to their first major trophy since the 1966 World Cup. Having guided England to the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup and the final of the delayed European Championships, Southgate understands the significance of selecting the right personnel for success.

Kindly share this story: