Shaw defends ‘crucial’ Kane after Keane criticism

Manchester United defender Luke Shaw has labelled Harry Kane as England’s “most important” player after the forward was criticised by Roy Keane.

England won their opening group game 1-0 against Croatia as Raheem Sterling netted the winner. Kane struggled to make an impact in the game which led to him being brought off in the 82nd minute.

Gareth Southgate’s side faced Scotland at Wembley on Friday night. A really underwhelming performance resulted in a 0-0 draw. 

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The Three Lions only registered one shot on target in the game and Kane underperformed again. The striker was taken off for Marcus Rashford in the 74th minute. 

Speaking after the stalemate, as cited by The Daily Mail, Shaw suggested that he is “not worried at all” about Kane’s recent form for England:

“No concern at all, for me personally I think he is the best striker in the world.

“He is a very important part of the team, in fact the most important part. I think whether he has not been at his best or not he is a massive part and a crucial player for us.

“We need him whether his performances are as people expected or not, but this happens in tournament football, you can score a goal at any moment and he is such a crucial player – not just on the pitch but off the pitch, he has got all of our backing and I’m not worried at all.”

These comments came after Keane insisted that he was “glad” that Southgate brought Kane off for Rashford against Scotland:

“He looked leggy. He doesn’t look up to speed, on his heels all the time.

“For England to compete in this competition you need your star men to perform. We’ve seen Lukaku and De Bruyne turn up, Ronaldo, Kane wasn’t at his best.

“And I’m glad Gareth took him off because there’s this talk of him being undroppable, he’s the star, he’s the main man. If he’s not performing you get him off. Rashford gave them a little bit more energy but still not enough.”

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