3 ways England can get the best out of Harry Kane

  • Harry Kane has struggled for form at Euro 2024
  • There's been calls to drop the England captain ahead of their semi-final with the Netherlands
  • Three tactical changes Gareth Southgate could make to get the best out of Kane
We NEED to talk about HARRY KANE 👀
We NEED to talk about HARRY KANE 👀 / 90min Football

England have made it through to the Euro 2024 semi-finals, and yet there's still plenty of question marks over their tactical set-up.

The biggest question mark heading into Wednesday's clash with the Netherlands is undoubtedly the form of Harry Kane.

After a barn-burning debut season at Bayern Munich, the England captain has struggled to make a consistently positive impact with the Three Lions this summer.

So...how do you get the best out of him?

Well, that's what we're here to try and work out...

Runners, runners, runners

Be it Son Heung-min at Tottenham Hotspur, Leroy Sane at Bayern Munich, or Marcus Rashford and Raheem Sterling with England, Harry Kane has essentially always played with wingers who race in behind defences...until this summer.

At Euro 2024, Kane has instead played alongside a group of attackers who all want to drift into deep central attacking areas - or, in other words, the areas which Kane want to operate in.

Due to this, Kane's ability to drop in, to collect the ball and create chances for teammates breaking in behind opposition defences has been completely nullified because, well, there hasn't been any runners for him to find.

So how do you fix this?

Well, it's pretty simple: play runners.

The Jarrod Bowen's and Anthony Gordon's of this world are not as talented as the likes of Phil Foden and Bukayo Saka, but they'd at least allow England to play to their best player's strengths - that certainly wouldn't be a bad thing.

Partnership with Ollie Watkins

Ollie Watkins
Needs gametime? / Franco Arland/GettyImages

Another way to get those all-important runners around Harry Kane would be to start Ollie Watkins up top alongside the England captain.

As shown in his 20 minute cameo against Denmark - his only game time of Euro 2024 thus far - the Aston Villa forward showed a willingness to run in behind that we haven't seen from many other Three Lions players during the tournament.

Those runs in behind are exactly what's needed to free up space for Kane to operate in his preferred pockets of space.

Play Jude Bellingham deeper in midfield

Jude Bellingham
Top player / Alex Livesey/GettyImages

As you've probably realised by now, the theme of this article is essentially 'free up space for Kane to drop deep and receive possession'.

That's exactly what moving Jude Bellingham into a number eight role in midfield would do.

England's two best players have got in the way of one another for the large bulk of Euro 2024 thus far, and dropping Bellingham deeper into midfield would ensure that no longer happens.

While freeing up space for Kane, it also wouldn't hinder Bellingham either. The young superstar has played plenty of football in a number eight role in the past, and done so pretty damn well too.