Harry Kane paradox leaves England talisman grasping to find his former self

The captain is too good a passer to be left up front, too good a poacher to be a No 10 and not fit enough to do both

Around 48 minutes into this musty, vaguely icky game – a game that felt like it was a few weeks past its sell-by date, a game that came coated in a thin, unidentifiable layer of mildew – Bukayo Saka got the ball in England’s right channel and played a simple short pass into Harry Kane.

For all his current travails, the vagaries of form and fitness, Kane is nothing if not a fearsome striker of a football. When he really connects, as he did here, the ball simply explodes off his boot: all gunpowder and venom and pure, coiled power. Two problems. First, Kane was facing away from goal. Second, he wasn’t actually attempting a shot but, in fact, trying to bring the ball under control.

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