Harry Kane is strong enough to shoulder the dual burden of being England’s World Cup captain and primary goalscorer, according to legendary striker Gary Lineker.
Like Lineker before him, Kane has gone from being a prolific Tottenham striker to his country’s most feared threat on the international stage.
But while Lineker boasted a lethal record in tournament football, scoring six times in the 1986 World Cup and adding another four at Italia 90, his successor drew a blank at Euro 2016.
He has since extended his Three Lions tally to 13 in 24 caps and has been handed the armband in Russia, a show of faith Lineker expects to pay dividends.
“Harry is our talisman, you know he won’t be scared of it, you know he deals with these sort of things and he will relish it,” he told Press Association Sport.
“I am sure he will do well. Harry is one of the best strikers in the world, it is great that we have got him.
“Like all strikers he just needs to hit the form at the right time, you can never be sure in a major tournament because you need the team to play well.”
Lineker will be in Russia anchoring the BBC’s coverage but will not be seeking a mentoring role with a player who has established his own pedigree over the past four Premier League seasons.
“It’s not my place to go and tell people what to do, but if anyone ever asks for my advice I am more than happy to give it,” he said.
“He knows what to expect, he has just got to play his game, exactly the same game he plays for Tottenham.
“If he does that and strikes form at the right time then he will do well. He doesn’t need anyone to tell him that, it’s all about delivering and enjoying it.”
Wales manager, and Manchester United great, Ryan Giggs is also expecting big things from England’s leading man.
Lineker on Kane’s ‘ghost goal’
Kane found himself mocked in some quarters for claiming a goal which had initially been awarded to team-mate Christian Eriksen against Stoke.
Giggs was hardly shocked to see such a ruthless attitude as he attempted to chase down Mohamed Salah in the race for the golden boot, having witnessed it before in his own playing days.
“It’s no surprise to me that Harry did that, I’ve played with guys who did exactly the same, it’s nothing new to me,” he told Press Association Sport.
“I think great centre forwards just have to be single minded, they are a little bit different. They just want to score every game and as a team-mate and a manager that’s what you want.
“They’re the special players, the guys that make a difference. Harry is a talented player and a born goalscorer.”