Gareth Southgate acknowledges trophies are ‘a missing piece’ for Harry Kane

By Sports Desk November 09, 2023

Gareth Southgate believes he has the best striker in world football in captain Harry Kane – but admits the Bayern Munich forward would benefit from ending his career-long trophy drought.

Kane has been in scintillating form since moving to Germany from Tottenham in the summer, scoring 19 goals in 15 games for the Bundesliga giants.

He is the record goalscorer for both England and Spurs but has yet to win any major honours during his career.

Kane’s debut for Bayern was in a Super Cup defeat to RB Leipzig while a shock loss to third-tier Saarbrucken in the DFB-Pokal has also dented his chances.

But Bayern currently sit second in the league as they aim for a 12th consecutive title and also boast a 100 per cent record in their Champions League group.

Heading into next summer’s Euros, hosted in Germany, Southgate believes Kane would profit from breaking his trophy duck.

“I think clearly it’s a missing piece for him at the moment,” he said.

“I’m sure if you spoke to all our guys who have won trophies it changes how you view yourself.

“It isn’t going to change what we think he is capable of and isn’t going to change his talent. But in terms of his mindset and how he will feel I’m sure that’s something he will benefit from.

“Any player wants to win trophies, that’s what we are all geared to. He is of course proud of his individual awards but if you talk to him he wants to win something with his club or his country. That’s how he is driven, like they all are.”

Kane enjoyed a prolific spell at Spurs having come up through the ranks with the Premier League club but has taken his game to new heights since opting to leave for the continent in the summer.

Alongside fellow export Jude Bellingham – who is starring for Real Madrid after joining from Borussia Dortmund – Southgate feels he has an unrivalled pairing.

“I think on form it would be hard to beat them,” he said.

“I’m trying to think of everybody’s strike force, to be fair, and see what others have got. But the long and short of it is we’re really happy. We love the pair of them.

“They’re a handful, but also with the wide players we have who have to work for the team as well, the balance of everything at the moment is good.

“It’s great. We want good players who are playing well. I mean, we’re not the only ones with good players playing well, Portugal looks very, very strong. France is obviously very, very strong.

“But you want, ideally, to be going in as one of the favourites and that’s a position over the last couple of tournaments that we’ve been in and that’s where we want to be.

“So, for us it’s brilliant that they’re playing well, it is a bit early for us! But it’s great that you can see the level of the boys and the confidence that they’ll be getting from playing at big clubs in Europe.

“They’ll have a broader feel of where everything sits and perhaps the lads that have only played in England as well.”

Asked if Kane had gone up a level since making the move to Bayern, Southgate added: “His football has always been really good. What’s brilliant for him is he’s taken on a new challenge, a fresh life if you like.

“He’s moved to a big club abroad, which isn’t straightforward, but he’s adaptable unbelievably well. So I think the confidence he will take from that will be enormous.

“It struck me driving home from our last game, we were understandably talking about Jude but Kane had scored two, his overall performance was incredible and looking at the sheet, (his) caps and goals is staggering, really.

“So there is a risk we really underestimate what we’ve got and what we’ve had for the last few years because any team, any country would love him as their number nine.

“It’s not just his ability to score goals. His creative play, his passing, his hold-up play. And I think he’s pressing and working for the team as well as any stage of his career.

“So he really has relished the leadership, the captaincy, loves playing for England, never misses out – touch wood. So he really is a top level player.”

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