McClaren: Kane on track to be England’s No 1 striker

Date published: Sunday 13th December 2015 10:13

Steve McClaren: Disappointed not to claim all three points

Newcastle boss Steve McClaren has backed Harry Kane to establish himself as England’s first-choice striker as his international career progresses.

Kane has scored three times in eight senior appearances for his country after bursting on to the scene last season, and the 22-year-old emerged from a barren start to the new club campaign to reach 10 goals by the end of November.

He will expect to line up against McClaren’s Newcastle in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon having been rested for Thursday night’s Europa league victory over Monaco, and the former England boss has no doubts over his long-term prospects.

Harry Kane: Targeting Alan Shearer's Premier League record goals tally

Asked if Kane could one day be England’s first-choice number nine, he replied: “Without a doubt, without a doubt. Definitely.

“He’s done really well. It’s taken him a while to come through – I remember when I was at [Nottingham] Forest for a few months and we played a young Tottenham team, and he was excellent.

“It has taken him a while to come through, but he’s really exploded onto the scene. He’s a player who just makes a difference.

“Every title contender has to have a Harry Kane, a [Jamie] Vardy, an [Sergio] Aguero, a [Olivier] Giroud. Everybody needs that, and they’ve got Harry Kane, who is very good.”

Alli rated by McClaren

Tottenham could also have within their ranks midfielder Dele Alli, a player Newcastle scouted assiduously during his time at MK Dons, but were ultimately unable to capture, as was McClaren during his time in charge at Derby.

He said: “I watched him when I was at Derby and he was at MK Dons, and we talked about trying to get him. He’s really surprised everybody. And then he made his debut for England – wow!

“He’s a very good player.”

Spurs paid £5million for the teenage Alli in February, and McClaren believes his development since proves that there is talent in the lower divisions.

He said: “Without doubt. That’s one of the things I enjoyed about my time at Derby, seeing all the young players coming through and the loan players.

“It is like your Charlie Austins and your Vardys – there are still people down there, that if they keep working and put the effort in, they can make it. Even in the Championship, players are going up – the likes of Callum Wilson, Troy Deeney, [Odion] Ighalo. There are some good players.”

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