Harry Maguire admits having “probably the best striker in the world” available will be key to England’s World Cup hopes.
The Three Lions face the Netherlands in Amsterdam on Friday evening but will be without forward Harry Kane, who is sidelined with an ankle problem. Maguire’s Leicester team-mate Jamie Vardy is instead expected to get the nod but the defender knows how important having Kane fit will be to the country’s hopes of success in Russia.
England face Belgium, Panama and Tunisia in Group G and are 2.16 to top the pool, while a price boost of 3.20 is being offered on them to go out in the quarter-finals.
The Tottenham man has won the Premier League Golden Boot in each of the last two seasons and at 24, looks ready to prove himself on the international stage.
Gareth Southgate rates Kane so highly he has even at times handed him the captain’s armband and Maguire admits he will be crucial in the summer.
“When he went down I am sure every England fan, every member of the England staff, every player wanted him to get back up,” he told reporters.
“Harry Kane is probably the best striker in the world. He is scoring frequently, getting the Golden Boot in the Premier League last couple of seasons and is up there again.
“I wish him a quick recovery and I hope he comes back firing goals from now until the end of the season and hopefully he will take that form into the World Cup. Hopefully it is good news and it is a speedy recovery.”