Gareth Southgate says the settled environment in England’s set-up has helped Harry Kane maintain his goalscoring record at international level while he struggles at Tottenham.
Kane had a turbulent summer, leading the Three Lions to the final of Euro 2020 with four goals in the competition before question marks surrounded his future when his desire to leave Spurs for Manchester City became public.
The 28-year-old is yet to score a Premier League goal this season but netted three times during the September international break. He is three strikes behind Jimmy Greaves in England’s all-time goalscoring chart and 12 behind leader Wayne Rooney.
He could soon close that gap further as he is expected to lead the line for his country when they face Hungary in a World Cup qualifier on Tuesday night.
Speaking ahead of the game, Southgate pointed to the camp’s settled atmosphere and style of play, with Spurs still finding their way under new manager Nuno Espirito Santo.
“What’s going on with his club is none of my business really,” Southgate said. “In terms of what we ask him to do, I think we’ve obviously got a settled way of playing here. His teammates know him, he knows his teammates, he knows the patterns of play that we play towards. There are obviously some games that are against a lower level of opponent, where it’s slightly easier to score goals.
“But he’s scored against some of the biggest opponents for us. I can’t talk about the club but I think he feels settled in our environment.
”I think it’s an environment where he knows we have belief but we have pushed him. We want improvement from the team all the time. Of course as the captain he knows he has to set the standard in the training sessions every day as well. I can’t fault his application and dedication to what we’re doing. He’s got a real desire to go well with us.
“Harry obviously scored three goals in three different matches for us in September so I didn’t sense any change in his approach with us. There’s a lot changes at the club, a new manager and new tactical formations. Like all players there will be an adaptation to that.”