There was a fair amount of optimism when England cruised through their qualifying group, winning seven of their eight games, in which they scored 37 goals. However, since then, injuries have hit some of the country’s top stars, with the main one heading towards Euro 2020 being that of captain and World Cup top goalscorer Harry Kane.
The Tottenham Hotspur striker has been sidelined since January due to a hamstring problem caused in a Premier League clash against Southampton. As a result, there were serious doubts that the talisman could make it back in time for the summer's action
Spurs boss, Jose Mourinho, stated that he expected the 26-year-old to be back around May, possibly appearing in Premier League clashes against Newcastle and/or Leicester City. Now, with all club football suspended, Kane has time to gradually return back to full fitness and avoid rushing back to action to finish off the season.
The England captain will now be able to recover completely from his injuries before gaining match sharpness steadily, rather than being hurried back and thrown in to fill the void up front for Spurs.
Kane has also struggled with some ankle and ligament problems, so the time off will allow him to work on ironing out any lingering problems before hopefully leading the line for Gareth Southgate’s men in 2021.
Furthermore, as a result of the postponement, Kane has overtaken Romelu Lukaku, Cristiano Ronaldo and France’s Kylian Mbappe as the frontrunner for the Euro 2021 Golden Boot award at 5/1. These odds are certainly worth a go considering England’s marksman, will most likely now feature Croatia, Czech Republic and either Serbia, Norway, Israel or Scotland.
Just like his fellow attacker, concerns were raised by the injury to Marcus Rashford. Like Kane, Rashford hasn’t played for his club since January. The Manchester United star was enjoying the best season of his career to date for the Red Devils, hitting 19 goals and five assists in the 31 appearances under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s.
The 22-year old suffered a double stress fracture in the FA Cup replay against Wolverhampton Wanderers and hasn’t featured since, whilst United have gone from strength to strength. The club initially feared Rashford could miss the rest of the season, but scan results revealed it may not be as serious as first thought.
Solskjaer hadn’t put a time frame on Rashford’s return, but like with Kane, rushing him back could have been a huge risk. The Norwegian already noted how his star forward had played through the pain barrier multiple times during the season, and that could have continued if he was brought back before he needed to be. Now with the season postponed, Rashford can continue to get stronger before the Euros kick off in the summer of next year.
He’s a decent price of 6/1 to finish as England’s top scorer in the competition, behind Kane and Raheem Sterling.