LONDON – England captain Harry Kane was included by Gareth Southgate in his provisional squad for next month’s Nations League finals despite facing a race against time to recover from injury.
Kane has not played since injuring ankle ligaments in the first leg of Tottenham’s Champions League quarter-final with Manchester City on April 11.
However, he is hopeful of being involved in Tottenham’s first ever Champions League final against Liverpool on June 1.
“He’s obviously working towards being fit for them for their final. We’ve got to see how that progresses really,” said Southgate.
“Clearly, he is a player we would want to give every opportunity to. His goal-scoring record for us is phenomenally high, and he’s captain of the team.
“We are keeping that door open, and we’ll have to see how things progress.”
England face the Netherlands in the semi-finals of the inaugural Nations League in Guimaraes, Portugal on June 6.
Southgate will have little time to prepare for that match with players from Spurs and Liverpool, as well as Chelsea after their Europa League final against Arsenal not joining up with the squad until June 3.
“Post Champions League final we are going to have to assess everybody,” added Southgate.
“There is the physical aspect of that game, then the emotional fall-out.”
Southampton’s Nathan Redmond is the new face in Southgate’s provisional 27-man squad, while Chelsea’s Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Callum Hudson-Odoi miss out due to injury.
Provisional England Squad
Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (Stoke City), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Tom Heaton (Burnley).
Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez (both Liverpool), Ben Chilwell, Harry Maguire (both Leicester City), Michael Keane (Everton), John Stones, Kyle Walker (both Manchester City), Danny Rose, Kieran Trippier (both Tottenham Hotspur).
Midfielders: Dele Alli, Eric Dier, Harry Winks (all Tottenham Hotspur), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Ross Barkley (Chelsea), Declan Rice (West Ham), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), James Ward-Prowse, Nathan Redmond (both Southampton).
Forwards: Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund), Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur), Callum Wilson (Bournemouth), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City).AFP