Journalist Ben Jacobs has urged England to play Newcastle United striker Callum Wilson ahead of Harry Kane in their last-16 clash at the World Cup on Sunday evening.
Having qualified as winners of Group B, the Three Lions take on Senegal in the first knockout stage of the 2022 World Cup.
He picked up an ankle injury in the first game and had to go for a scan. Although he has been deemed fit enough to play since, not everyone is convinced he is 100% fit.
He explained: “Kane doesn’t look fit, his ankle looks dodgy. So, if you’ve got all these other form players, is there a logic in [dropping Kane]?
“It’s a massive gamble, because if you go out, think of the scrutiny – but if Kane’s not 100% fit, why not start Wilson and bring on Kane if you need him?”
TIF Thoughts on Callum Wilson and Newcastle United…
Incidentally, both Kane and Wilson are yet to score at the World Cup – though they have provided for others. Indeed, the Tottenham Hotspur man has three assists in three starts, while the Toon forward has one assist from two substitute appearances.
At this stage of the tournament, however, nothing can be taken for granted, so Southgate would be wary of playing a weakened side against Senegal if he can help it.
Still, if Kane has shown any signs of a lingering fitness problem over the week, the England boss may well feel it is wiser to play Wilson – who has six goals in 11 Newcastle games this season – up front in the next World Cup fixture.