Harry Kane adapted his role to one he’s accustomed to at Tottenham, setting up England’s opener and scoring the winner to lead the Three Lions to their first European Championship Final.
Yet again Kane was one of England’s standout performers on the world’s biggest stage. By dropping deep to collect the ball in the heart of midfield, he caused Denmark’s defence all sorts of problems. Denmark’s Simon Kjaer didn’t know whether to stick or twist, track Kane’s movement or let him wander uncontested deep into midfield.
He dropped deep far more frequently than in previous encounters, forcing Kjaer to pass England’s talisman off to either Pierre Hojberg or Thomas Delaney.
Raheem Sterling and Bukayo Saka benefitted massively from Kane’s decision to drop into midfield and collect possession deep. Allowed to retrieve the ball and turn, Kane picked Denmark apart with the pinpoint, incisive passing that saw him top the Premier League’s assist leaderboard last season.
Kane customarily maintains a more advanced role with the Three Lions, oftentimes positioning himself in between opposing centre backs. Rarely does he drop deep into midfield in the national setup like he did for Spurs last season.
That all changed against Denmark, as Kane found pockets of space to orchestrate proceedings. The Three Lions’ opener was set up by Kane, whose movement created gaps in the Danish backline. He collected in midfield, turned and thread the needle for Saka, whose penetrating run allowed him to pierce behind the Danish rearguard.
Kane’s ability to find space between Denmark’s rearguard and midfield pair facilitated a constant barrage of English pressure. While Denmark did an admirable job in mitigating Kane’s scoring chances, they were unable to quell the talisman’s passing threat.
Kane’s versatility and knack for knowing when to drop between the lines facilitated England’s relentless pressure. He was able to get on the ball and find teammates on numerous attacking forays. Kane had 61 touches and enjoyed an 86 percent passing success rate. Better yet, he made three key passes in the match, one of which led directly to Kjaer’s own goal.
England’s captain is now one match away from achieving what no other Tottenham talisman has. He is one more standout performance away from leading England to its first European Championship and first major honour in 55 years.
So much for the harsh, unjust stick he received just two matches into the tournament.
If he once again adopts a more free, versatile role, like he does on a weekly basis with Spurs, not even Italy will be able to stop Kane from creating history with the Three Lions.