Under-21 European Championships: Harry Kane to play in finals as fears of burn-out are dismissed

The Tottenham striker has told his club that he does not wish to miss the tournament

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The Independent Football

Roy Hodgson has revealed that Harry Kane will play for the England Under-21s at the European Championship finals in June, having told the Football Association and his club Tottenham Hotspur that he did not wish to miss the tournament.

The striker has played in both England games in the recent international break, including 90 minutes in Tuesday’s 1-1 draw with Italy, and he is still expected to play in Spurs’ post-season friendlies in Malaysia on 27 May, then Australia three days later.

He will not, however, be selected for the senior England squad to face the Republic of Ireland in a friendly on 7 June and Slovenia in a Euro 2016 qualifier one week later.

Speaking after Tuesday’s game in Turin, the England manager said Kane’s wishes had been fundamental to the decision-making process. He has scored eight goals in  10 appearances for the Under-21s including in qualifiers for the finals, which take place in the Czech Republic over two weeks from 17 to 30 June.


Hodgson said: “The main reason is because Harry wants to go with the Under-21s. Harry wants to finish the  job that, if you like, he has done. He has been a major part of their qualifying campaign and in my conversations with him it has been pretty obvious he would like to play in this tournament.”

Hodgson dismissed fears that Kane could face burn-out, with his total game count this season likely to be around the 60-mark. He said: “I’m not a great lover of the burn-out argument, I’ve got to say. If you want to be an international player you’ve got to accept football tournaments take place in the summer at the end of the season.”

Hodgson added that when it came to deciding if Raheem Sterling and Ross Barkley would play in the Under-21 finals, he would leave it up to Southgate “to sort that out with the players and clubs, and he will make the right decision”.