Jordan Henderson says Harry Kane is ‘one of the best strikers in the world’ as England captain shines

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 (The FA via Getty Images)
(The FA via Getty Images)

Harry Kane’s perfect hat-trick against Albania proves he is still one of the best strikers in the world, according to England teammate Jordan Henderson.

Kane scored a clinical first-half treble and set up Henderson as Gareth Southgate’s side won 5-0 at Wembley to all but book their place in the Qatar 2022 World Cup.

They now need just a point against San Marino on Monday after five first-half goals, including a Harry Maguire to break the deadlock.

Kane has scored just once in the League for Tottenham this season but Henderson believes his display was a reminder of his enduring quality.

Asked if Kane gets enough appreciation, the Liverpool captain said: “I think he’s appreciated. He certainly is from the players and that’s the most important thing really.

“From the outside, I think the majority of England love him for what he’s given over the past few years for the team. The goals he scores, the records he’s got – I do think the fans love him.

“But you’re going to get criticism at times, when you’re club form is not as great, probably at Spurs, as what he would want. He hasn’t been scoring as many goals as he’d want. So you’re going to get criticism but he’ll take it on the chin and make himself better.

"You saw tonight, he’ll get chances and put them away and he’s proven again tonight he’s still one of the best strikers in the world.”

Henderson admitted he was both surprised and not surprised by scrutiny of Kane’s form this season, saying criticism was part and parcel of the elite game.

“It surprises me because the quality of him but it doesn’t surprise us because I play football,” Henderson said.

“Everyone will have an opinion. You always go through moments when the form isn’t as good as you like, where you may not be scoring as many goals as you like, as is the case for him. You’ll always get criticism in football, it’s part and parcel of the job.

“I’ve had it my whole career and I’ll have it until the day I finish. You learn how to deal with it in a better way when you get older and more experienced. That’s what I’ve found. You use it to fuel you and make yourself better. So it doesn’t surprise us because everyone is going to get criticism in football but of course it doesn’t surprise us a little bit because of the quality of Harry Kane. Everyone knows he’s one of the best strikers in the world.”

Kane went beyond Wayne Rooney as England’s top scorer in competitive matches with 38 goals, while he moved level with Jimmy Greaves on 44 internationals goals – nine shy of Rooney’s all-time record.

“He’s a player who over the years, his goal record speaks for itself,” added Henderson. “In training, his finishing is outstanding, you give him half a chance and he’ll take it. That was the case today. He’s clinical in front of goal and deserves his hat-trick. I’m delighted for him. He’s had a tough couple of months. I’m delighted for him and hoping that’ll give him a bit of confidence now.”

Henderson crossed for Kane’s opening goal before the England captain returned the favour, playing in the midfielder who jinked into the box to score for England at Wembley for the first time.

“It was nice to start after such a long time and to play at Wembley,” he said. “I really enjoyed it, nice to get on the scoresheet, I enjoyed my first goal at Wembley. Overall it was a good night.”

Read More

England player ratings vs Albania: Harry Kane dazzles with hat-trick as Reece James also stars

Gareth Southgate hails ‘excellent’ Harry Kane as England star returns to form with Wembley hat-trick

Gareth Southgate rules Mason Mount and Luke Shaw out of England’s San Marino clash

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