The postponement of Euro 2020 for a year due to the coronavirus is a big blow for football fans but it could play right into the hands of England and their talisman Harry Kane, says Jamie Redknapp.
Kane has not kicked a ball in anger since sustaining a hamstring injury at Southampton on New Year’s Day and faced a race against time to be fit for the scheduled start of the Euros in mid-June.
The England skipper has scored 25 goals in 40 England appearances – which is 11 more than Wayne Rooney at the same stage of his international career – and his potential absence this summer would have been a major blow to England’s chances.
But former Three Lions midfielder Redknapp told the Daily Mail:
“Perhaps, the one plus side to this summer’s European Championship being moved to 2021 is that it offers Kane time.
“England’s figurehead will not have to rush to get back up to full speed and he can find his feet in the Premier League before taking to the international stage.”
Redknapp recalls how difficult it is to return to action after a lengthy injury absence with expectations so high.
“It was 20 years ago on Wednesday that, after coming back from four months on the sidelines, I was brought off the bench against Newcastle by Gerard Houllier,” Redknapp said.
“I’d been itching to get on — and wasn’t too happy with Houllier for taking so long.
“I was made Liverpool captain ahead of 1999-2000 but had to have knee surgery midway through the season and was left with a feeling of helplessness.
“That day against Newcastle, I bagged an 88th-minute winner by rising above big Duncan Ferguson to score a rare header at Anfield. There was an explosion of emotion. It felt like I was back. But it takes time to get up to full speed again.
“I managed four more appearances for Liverpool that season — then, in the summer, during an England training camp, my knee broke down again.
“It forced me out of Euro 2000 — I was crushed. My passport was stamped with so many destinations where I visited specialists from America and all across Europe.
“All I wanted to do was get fit and help my team but I couldn’t.”
Source: News update