England stars defend Harry Kane over Euro 2024 struggles

  • Luke Shaw & Trent Alexander-Arnold support Harry Kane after Euro criticism
  • Bayern Munich star has found the back of the net twice so far
  • England set to face the Netherlands in semi-final clash
Kane has been far from his best
Kane has been far from his best / Richard Sellers/Allstar/GettyImages

Luke Shaw and Trent Alexander-Arnold have both come to the defence of England captain Harry Kane, who has received harsh criticism for his performances at Euro 2024.

Kane, who has led his nation since the 2018 World Cup, has found the back of the net just twice so far in Germany, with his overall performances leading many to question his role in Gareth Southgate's attacking system.

Amid some calls for Kane to be dropped for Wednesday's semi-final clash with the Netherlands, Shaw insisted the team still has full support for their captain.

"When he's on the pitch he makes other players feel positive," Shaw said. "I think we all feel very positive when he's on the pitch, because he's our leading goalscorer. At any time he can score a goal and make that difference. He's a very important player, he's our captain.

"He's a world-class player. We see it day in day out in training, we know the quality he has and what he brings to the team."

Harry Kane
Kane has provided two important goals so far in Germany / Eurasia Sport Images/GettyImages

Fellow defender Alexander-Arnold echoed the words of Shaw, insisting the striker brings something unique to the team.

"Anyone who is facing England would like to see Harry Kane not playing," Alexander-Arnold said. "You just know he is a threat. Anything in and around the box, you need to be on red alert. He can finish it from every angle.

"I always say he is the best finisher I've seen or played with. He can drop down and build play up and his hold-up play is incredible too."

Both Shaw and Alexander-Arnold were handed cameos during England's tight win over Switzerland in the quarter-finals. The Manchester United defender arrived onto the pitch in the 78th minute, providing support that the team have often lacked on the left side, while Liverpool's Alexander-Arnold was introduced in extra time and held his nerve to score the deciding penalty.