Celtic

By Danny Wright

Former Arsenal striker Charlie Nicholas has slammed Gareth Southgate’s decision to hand Tottenham star Harry Kane the captain’s armband when England play Slovenia on Thursday night,

Kane, 24, will lead the Three Lions out on to the Wembley pitch in their penultimate World Cup qualifier, knowing that a win will see them secure their spot in Russia next summer.

The Spurs striker has been in phenomenal form as of late, scoring a stunning 11 goals in September, including seven in his last three outings which included a Champions League hat-trick away at APOEL Nicosia.

However Nicholas doesn’t think that it will be beneficial towards Kane’s game for him to be handed the extra pressure of being captain, and has suggested that if things go wrong against Slovenia, questions will be asked of him.

“Quite rightly everybody is talking about Harry Kane – he’s been explosive – but I just don’t see the benefits of adding the additional burden of captaincy. If England don’t get a result then suddenly people are looking at him in a different light,” said Nicholas on the Sky Sports website.

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“It won’t be a sparkling performance and I can see it taking some time to really wrap it up, but with Kane in the team they should be able to break down Slovenia.”

Nicholas has predicted that England will win 2-0 on Thursday, as well as backing Kane to get the first goal, which would be enough to see the Three Lions top their group and confirm qualification to the 2018 World Cup.

England need two points from their last two matches, the next being against Lithuania on Monday, to ensure they top the group.

In other Tottenham news, Spurs have agreed a new contract for this attacker.

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