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Harry Kane warned he has England problem ahead of Euro 2024 clash with Denmark

Harry Kane playing for England
-Credit: (Image: KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP via Getty Images)


Former England defender Wes Brown has warned that Harry Kane's role must change against Denmark after his quiet display at the weekend.

Despite the Three Lions kicking off their Euro 2024 run with a win over Serbia, the England captain was a bystander for long spells of the game.

Gareth Southgate's side may have produced an impressive first-half performance but Kane only touched the ball twice. With a total of 24 touches by the end of the game, the ex-Tottenham Hotspur striker opted not to drop deep in search of possession.

Jude Bellingham and Bukayo Saka played vital attacking roles for the Three Lions, but Kane's minimal involvement could be an early sign that Southgate needs to alter his tactics. As England prepare to face Denmark on Thursday (5pm), Manchester United legend Wes Brown has urged his ex-England teammate Southgate to allow Kane to take centre stage.

Speaking on Reach's new Euro Thrash podcast - which you can find on YouTube, Apple and Spotify - Brown said: "He's the main guy, but he needs more of the ball, more service. Because Jude [Bellingham] is right behind him, likes to get on the ball wherever, so that doesn't help Harry Kane with his touches and his lead-up play.

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"It would be good if he could get more touches, bring more people into play and ultimately Harry [Kane] is there in the end as a six-yard man, getting into that space. That is where you want him.

"He is not the one who is going to turn defenders and sprint onto the ball, that is not his game. He's getting the ball when we are moving up slowly and when we do get an opportunity, he will be in the right space."

Despite Kane being occupied with keeping Serbia's back three busy and creating room for England's creative midfielders, only a stunning save from Predrag Rajkovic stopped him from adding his name to the scoresheet with a second-half header. Brown recognises Kane's strength as a lone striker but believes a minor adjustment could unleash England's all-time top scorer.

"You want him in the box. We need someone there to occupy the last two defenders so we can create some space around and I do think he does that well," Brown added.

"Kane will be looking at it when we've got the ball in possession, he'll know these lads are capable of creating and making things happen, and if one of the opposition messes up, I'll be in that little bit of space to get a shot off and try and score."

"He will be looking and thinking 'I want to be in that game, I want to be the guy, I want to be the star who scores', but teams do make it difficult for you these days."

England have the chance to secure their spot in the knockout stages with a victory over Denmark, who started their campaign with a draw against Slovenia. This will be the first encounter between the two sides since the Three Lions' narrow semi-final win at Euro 2020.

Watch and listen to Euro Thrash on YouTube, Apple Podcasts and Spotify with regular new episodes throughout Euro 2024.