Trent Alexander-Arnold backs up Virgil van Dijk when pressed on Harry Kane question | Football | Sport

Trent Alexander-Arnold has agreed that it would be music to Virgil van Dijk’s ears if England dropped Harry Kane for Wednesday’s Euro 2024 semi-final. Kane has scored twice at the tournament despite not being at his best.

Concerns have been raised over the England captain’s fitness. The Bayern Munich striker came into the Euros with a back injury and has finished only two of the Three Lions’ five matches.

Some fans and pundits have wondered whether dropping Kane for the semi-final would be beneficial. Ivan Toney and Ollie Watkins have performed well in brief cameo appearances.

But Alexander-Arnold points out that Dutch defenders would dream of seeing a teamsheet that does not include England’s record goalscorer and captain.

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“Anyone facing England would like to see Harry Kane not playing. We’re talking about England’s record scorer,” the Liverpool defender said.

“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 scored against Denmark and struck the winner in extra-time against Slovakia in the last-16. Alexander-Arnold continued: “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.”

Manager Gareth Southgate withdrew Kane before the penalty shootout against Switzerland. However, the Tottenham icon had collided with his boss and tripped over a container after being nudged off the pitch by a Swiss defender.

Despite appearing injured at the time, Kane insisted that he was fine. He is expected to be fit to face the Dutch in Dortmund, where he scored a Bundesliga hat-trick for Bayern last season.

Southgate has defended Kane’s contribution at the tournament so far. He said: “All of the games have been slightly different, I thought he did a super job for the team in terms of defensively, his positioning, his understanding of where he needed to be.

“He’s perhaps not flowing as he’s arriving in those deeper areas as sometimes he looks with his passing, but he’s still playing an immense part for the group.”

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