Gary Neville suspects England star is ‘playing with injections’ at Euro 2024

Joe Williams
Man Utd legend Gary Neville on England
Gary Neville during his role as a Sky Sports pundit.

Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville reckons Harry Kane is “playing with injections” to keep him on the pitch for England at Euro 2024.

England are into the semi-finals of Euro 2024 despite not playing anywhere near their potential with Gareth Southgate getting criticised for his team selection and tactics.

Kane has scored two goals in five European Championship matches and there are calls from some fans and pundits to drop the Bayern Munich striker against the Netherlands in the Three Lions’ semi-final clash on Wednesday evening.

There are concerns over Kane’s fitness and form for England but Neville thinks it’s a “waste of time” to even consider whether Southgate will play him against Ronald Koeman’s side.

Neville said on The Overlap newsletter: “We can talk about Harry Kane but it’s a waste of time. We know full well it’s just words.

“Gareth is never going to leave him out. I’m not sure I would either. It would take a very brave coach to do so.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if after the tournament, we discover that he’s been playing with injections. He’s not moving fluently. He’s not the usual Harry Kane.

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“We’ve seen it before in tournaments, where the captain, the leader, the biggest personality, the player you look to, isn’t at the top of his form.

“Wayne Rooney was like that in 2016, David Beckham in 2006. There’s a tension and dilemma between playing the guy who is clearly the No.1 player but the performance levels aren’t quite there.

“Maybe Gareth has got to a place where he’s happy to substitute Harry now and bring someone on to change it up. But Harry is going to start against the Netherlands. England won’t go onto the pitch without him.”

Former Arsenal and England stiker Ian Wright reckons Ivan Toney could be a better option that Kane as there is “something not right” with the ex-Tottenham star.

“When you look at the way that Harry Kane has played in the tournament up until this point, you can’t not watch him and say there’s something not right with him,” Wright said on Stick to Football.

“He’s not sharp, he’s not in the box – and now we know Ivan Toney can go to that level and take a penalty. We need somebody who is going to be up there, linking and holding and causing problems for their defenders.

“At some stage, we’re going to need to make that decision about what’s going on – we can’t just wait for that Harry Kane finish, at some stage we might run out of time in that respect.”