Tottenham fear Harry Kane must miss start of next season due to Under-21 finals

Pochettino admits young striker will have to be rested if selected in Southgate's squad for the Euros

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The Independent Football

Mauricio Pochettino is concerned that Harry Kane will have to miss the start of next season for Tottenham Hotspur in order that he gets enough rest after playing for Gareth Southgate’s England Under-21s at the European championships next month.

The Under-21s manager will announce a long list of squad players for the tournament on Wednesday at St George’s Park with Kane, Luke Shaw, John Stones and Calum Chambers all included despite the fact they have been capped for the senior England team. Five Under-21s eligible players who are regulars in Roy Hodgson’s senior squad - Raheem Sterling, Jack Wilshere, Phil Jones, Ross Barkley and the injured Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain - are not under consideration.

Spurs are worried that Kane will get too little rest this summer with the likelihood that the 21-year-old will also be in Hodgson’s Euro 2016 squad for France next summer. Pochettino said after Saturday’s win over Hull City that he was concerned Kane might have to miss the start of next season in order that he got enough time off over the summer.

Asked whether he was happy for Kane to be in the Under-21s squad, Pochettino said: “I am happy if Harry is happy. From then, it is a decision for the FA and we have to wait for that because they have to decide if they are picking him for the Under-21s or if Roy Hodgson is picking him for the senior squad. It’s the FA that decide that. Nobody has asked my advice yet.

Spurs Mauricio Pochettino makes a gesture on the touchline

“If Harry asks me, I will tell him it is his decision. When you have the possibility to play in the Under-21s, always it is the player’s decision. You can advise him, but in the end it is the FA’s decision and the player.

“The problem is that there are different interests. We are a club, and the FA are interested in England. It is the manager’s decision – in this case Gareth Southgate – how he builds his team and uses his players. Our interest is different to the FA but our understanding is that it is their decision.”


Tottenham’s pre-season training will begin on 1 July and the club could well have a Europa League qualifier later that month depending on end-of-season results. The likelihood is that Kane will be given additional time off in order to rest from the summer. He will also go on the club’s post-season tour in Australia and Malaysia, flying back on 1 June. 

Asked whether Kane could miss the start of next season, Pochettino said: “Maybe. But I am very sure that the FA will take the right decision for Harry Kane and all England players.

“He is not tired, but the problem is if you play a lot of games in the Premier League and the Europa League over a season, you expend a lot of energy. It is not easy. But it is not about tiredness, it is about next season. We can see him in the future being the future No 1 [choice], not just for us but for the senior England team. I don’t want to speak too much, but it is the FA’s decision.”

Southgate will announce a provisional Under-21s squad on Wednesday with the Uefa deadline for the final 23-man squad falling on 2 June, 16 days before England’s first game. Although Louis Van Gaal said on Friday that Shaw should be exempted from the Under-21s championships that contradicts what the Manchester United manager said in October when he described the tournament as a “good education” for young players and gave the full-back his blessing to go.