Gary Neville suspects England star has been getting injections to keep playing at Euro 2024

Ex-England defender Gary Neville
Ex-England defender Gary Neville (Picture: YouTube)

Gary Neville says he ‘would not be surprised’ if Harry Kane has been getting injections to manage his body and continue playing for England at Euro 2024.

Despite scoring two goals – the opener in England’s 1-1 draw against Denmark and the extra-time winner in the last-16 tie against Slovakia – Kane has been criticised for his sluggish performances out in Germany.

Neville insists England fans are not seeing the ‘usual Harry Kane’ during the Euros and believes he may have been receiving injections to manage an injury he sustained towards the end of last season.

While there are major concerns over Kane’s form and fitness ahead of England’s semi-final showdown against the Netherlands, Neville says speculating on whether or not the Bayern Munich striker will start is a ‘waste of time’.

Gareth Southgate has been reluctant to turn to back-up strikers Ivan Toney or Ollie Watkins during the Euros, opting to keep faith in the England captain and the country’s all-time record goalscorer.

‘We can talk about Harry Kane but it’s a waste of time,’ Neville said on The Overlap newsletter. ‘We know full well it’s just words.

‘Gareth is never going to leave him out. I’m not sure I would either. It would take a very brave coach to do so.

England captain Harry Kane and Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate
England captain Harry Kane and Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate (Picture: Getty)

‘I wouldn’t be surprised if after the tournament, we discover that he’s been playing with injections. He’s not moving fluently. He’s not the usual Harry Kane.

‘We’ve seen it before in tournaments, where the captain, the leader, the biggest personality, the player you look to, isn’t at the top of his form.

‘Wayne Rooney was like that in 2016, David Beckham in 2006. There’s a tension and dilemma between playing the guy who is clearly the No.1 player but the performance levels aren’t quite there.

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‘Maybe Gareth has got to a place where he’s happy to substitute Harry now and bring someone on to change it up. But Harry is going to start against the Netherlands. England won’t go onto the pitch without him.’

Ex-England and Arsenal striker Ian Wright has been among those to reveal their concern over Kane and says Southgate must ‘make a decision’ on the former Tottenham captain ahead of the Netherlands clash.

‘When you look at the way that Harry Kane has played in the tournament up until this point, you can’t not watch him and say there’s something not right with him,’ he on Stick to Football: The Overlap Special, brought to you by Sky Bet.

‘He’s not sharp, he’s not in the box – and now we know Ivan Toney can go to that level and take a penalty. We need somebody who is going to be up there, linking and holding and causing problems for their defenders.

‘At some stage, we’re going to need to make that decision about what’s going on – we can’t just wait for that Harry Kane finish, at some stage we might run out of time in that respect.’

England’s Euro 2024 semi-final opponents Netherlands beat Romania and Turkey in the knockout stages after finishing third in Group D behind Austria and France.

The winner of the second semi in Dortmund will meet Spain in Sunday’s final after Luis de la Fuente’s side beat France 2-1 last night.

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