Gareth Southgate says Harry Kane always had ability to provide assists

The England manager says he is not surprised by the number of chances Harry Kane has created for Tottenham Hotspur this season.

Harry Kane celebrates after scoring Tottenham's opening goal during a Premier League contest against West Bromwich Albion on Sunday, November 8, 2020. - AP

England manager Gareth Southgate said he is not surprised by the number of chances Harry Kane has created for Tottenham Hotspur this season, adding the striker’s passing ability has always been as good as his finishing.

Kane has scored seven goals and provided eight assists in eight Premier League matches for Spurs this season and Southgate said that he was delighted to have the 27-year-old firing on all cylinders for Sunday’s Nations League clash against Belgium.

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“I know there seems to be more emphasis or more spotlight on that part of his game now, but he’s definitely always had it,” Southgate told reporters.

'Outstanding finisher'

“He’s as good a provider and as good a passer as he is a finisher and he is, of course, an outstanding finisher. Clearly the combinations at club level with Son (Heung-min), in particular (are impressive). When you’ve got runners going beyond him, he’ll find the passes. So we’re privileged to have him... it’s great to see him hitting that sort of form.”

Kane was an unused substitute in Thursday’s 3-0 friendly win over Ireland but is set to earn his 50th cap against Belgium.

“I’m hoping he does get that 50th cap... because it would mean we would have got through another couple of days without losing another player,” Southgate, who is without the likes of Marcus Rashford and Joe Gomez due to injuries, said.

“Harry’s scoring record for us is phenomenal. You always know, going into a game with the likes of him and Raheem (Sterling), that we've got tremendous goal threat now, which a lot countries would be delighted to have.”

After Sunday’s clash against Belgium, England takes on Iceland at Wembley Stadium three day later.