Harry Kane expected to be named in England’s Nations League Finals squad
Harry Kane will be named in England’s Nations League Finals squad on Thursday despite the striker’s ankle ligament injury, Press Association Sport understands.
After captaining the Three Lions to the World Cup semi-finals last summer, the 25-year-old is in a race to be fit in time for Tottenham’s Champions League final and a shot at silverware in Portugal with his country the following week.
Kane has been out of action since sustaining what Spurs called “a significant lateral ligament injury to his left ankle” in the first leg of their quarter-final clash with Manchester City five weeks ago.
But the striker has been making good progress in his rehabilitation and is set to be named in the Nations League squad named by Gareth Southgate at Wembley on Thursday afternoon.
Spurs team-mate Harry Winks’ case appears less cut and dry following groin surgery at the end of April, but England do have some time on their side given they do not have to submit their final 23-man squad to UEFA until May 27.
Press Association Sport understands that a standby list will not be named for the finals, with Southgate instead plumping for a slightly larger provisional group.
England Under-21s’ preparations for the European Championships is partly behind that, while preparation time rather than injuries appears Southgate’s biggest headache given UEFA’s staggering scheduling.
Their semi-final against Holland on June 6 come just five days after Spurs take on Liverpool in the Champions League final, which could involve as many as 10 players named in Thursday’s squad.
They will have to hotfoot it to Portugal after the final, as will the likes of Chelsea midfielders Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Ross Barkley following the Europa League final against Arsenal in Baku on May 29.
England boss Southgate said last week: “I think we have always had the understanding that this could happen and we need to keep all of our players physically ready for our tournament in the summer.
“It is just making sure the players we are working with are as prepared as they can be. Then we will fit those other players back into the programme when they arrive back with us.
“We won’t have long before our matches but actually we are used to that as with our international weeks we only get two or three days’ preparation.
“Although you would like more for a semi-final, and we could have had more, we haven’t and we have just got to deal with that.”
The composition of England’s squad for the two tournament preparation camps at St George’s Park will be interesting given the strains being put on the squad.
Southgate’s group will meet for the first time on Tuesday, but those involved in the FA Cup final between Manchester City and Watford will be given the week off. Jadon Sancho is also set to get some downtime with Borussia Dortmund’s campaign ending this weekend.
There will be no place in Thursday’s squad for fellow Under-17 World Cup winner Callum Hudson-Odoi after his season was brought to a shuddering halt by a ruptured Achilles, but Liverpool defender Joe Gomez is in line to return to the fold.
Jesse Lingard should be back after missing March’s meet up with a hamstring issue – a player Southgate saw up close when foregoing the Premier League title deciders on Sunday to check out Manchester United’s players in a humiliating 2-0 loss to Cardiff.
Luke Shaw was conspicuous by his absence from the squad at Old Trafford, but Ben Chilwell and Danny Rose appear to have established themselves as the first-choice left-back options.