By Tottenham correspondent Tony Hughes
Harry Kane could be mentally burned out after already playing 4,777 minutes of football for club and country this season, according to a report.
The Daily Telegraph claim there is a concern over whether the England forward has played too much football in the past two years heading into Thursday’s Euro 2016 clash against Wales.
In that time the 22-year-old has elevated himself to being England’s first-choice centre-forward, with the Telegraph claiming he will be selected ahead of Daniel Sturridge against Wales despite his subdued display in Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Russia.
It is said Kane could be suffering a mental tiredness that is less easily quantifiable than physical symptoms.
“He is 22 years old but unlike some of the new international players of the past years, most notably [Theo] Walcott and [Jack] Wilshere, his path to the top has not necessarily been through many games from a young age,” football medical specialist Michael Davison told the Telegraph.
Kane made more appearances last season than he did in four campaigns between 2010 and 2014 (58 matches), which were largely spent on loan and coming off the substitutes’ bench.
Davison added to the Telegraph: “He is unlikely to be burnt out but in the past two year he has played 56 and 61 games and had only two weeks away from the game. So he is likely to be suffering a mental fatigue more than a physical fatigue.”
Kane’s 4,777 minutes on the pitch so far this season is far in excess of the other four players listed as strikers in England’s squad at Euro 2016.
Wayne Rooney – now being deployed in midfield – has played 3,948 minutes for club and country, the equivalent of nine fewer matches than Kane, while for Jamie Vardy it is 3,662 minutes, for Sturridge 1,768 minutes and for Marcus Rashford 1,476 minutes.
Experts such as Davison would suggest that the optimum ‘band’ for players to be in, in terms of remaining at their peak, is somewhere between 2,000 and 4,000 minutes of football. Only Kane is over that among the forwards (although Adam Lallana has played 4,071 minutes).
In other Tottenham news, the club have opened talks with a big-hitting French outfit over a new striker deal.