Alan Shearer names the player Gareth Southgate 'cannot' drop for Euro 2024 semi (2024)

Alan Shearer says there is ‘no way’ Gareth Southgate can drop England captain Harry Kane for the Euro 2024 semi-final against the Netherlands.

Despite scoring two goals at the Euros, Kane has attracted criticism for his below-par and sluggish performances out in Germany, where he now plays his club football for Bayern Munich.

The 30-year-old striker scored England’s opener in the 1-1 draw against Denmark and extra-time winner in the last-16 win over Slovakia, but has been criticised for his general play.

Southgate has been reluctant to turn to back-up options Ollie Watkins and Ivan Toney, with the Aston Villa striker only featuring briefly in one group game and the Brentford talisman coming on as a late substitute against Slovakia and Switzerland.

Many pundits and fans believe England’s attack would function better with Watkins or Toney in the team but Shearer says Southgate ‘cannot’ drop Kane, who is the country’s record goalscorer as well as current captain.

‘There’s no doubt in my mind [that he should start],’ Shearer said on The Rest is Football podcast.

‘There’s no way you can leave him out, you can’t leave your captain out and your record goalscorer, the guy who can produce something special.

‘I know we’ve got other players who can do that too but he’s our main goalscorer so you keep him in there and encourage him as much as possible.

‘He has looked tired at times but you put him in that team, no doubt about it, and you try to get the best out of him. It will turn, he’s a great goalscorer.’

Speaking to Betfair, Shearer added: ‘Unless Harry Kane is injured, he plays. He’s the captain and the record goalscorer. There’s no way you can leave him out.

‘Yes, he’s not looked as sharp as we would like him to but he has got two goals. Whether he’s carrying an injury I don’t know, but he certainly hasn’t looked sharp.

‘We all know that if a chance falls to him then he’ll more than likely put it away. What was said to me when I hit my 30s, was to play in the 18-yard box and not worry about tracking outside of that.

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‘I know Harry likes to come short and spray passes about which he’s very good at but his best work needs to be in the box because that’s his game and he wants goals.

‘We also have players who can do the job of passing and coming short – it doesn’t need to be him.

‘I’d play Harry Kane but I’d be telling him to do his work in the box rather than coming back.

‘You wouldn’t bet against Harry getting another one or two goals in the semi-finals and final and that’s the right of reply you have as a forward.’

Kane was subbed off in extra-time during England’s quarter-final win over Switzerland after taking a fall onto Southgate and the team’s bench from a nudge from Manuel Akanji on the halfway line.

But the ex-Tottenham captain insisted he was not injured after England’s penalty shootout victory, telling reporters: ‘I’m fine, I was just tired.

‘I had a bit of cramp there, I tripped over the water bottles and both my calves cramped up. The boss made a quick decision, with Ivan a proven penalty taker. He came on and did the job.’

Asked if he was confident his team-mates would get the job done in the shootout, Kane added: ‘We had a penalty shootout before against Switzerland in the Nations League and that was the only other one I’ve been watching [from the touchline].

‘Might be a little good-luck charm! We trust in whoever is on the pitch.

‘The difference between this year and past year is we’ve got proven penalty takers. Ivan, Cole, Bukayo takes them for Arsenal. We had a lot more experience in that sense and obviously they showed it out there.’

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Alan Shearer names the player Gareth Southgate 'cannot' drop for Euro 2024 semi (2024)
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