England striker Harry Kane is confident he and Jamie Vardy can forge a winning partnership if they get the chance to start together.
Kane finished top of the Premier League scoring charts after netting 25 times for Tottenham, with Vardy just one behind as he spearheaded Leicester’s triumphant title campaign.
The pair both appear to have irresistible claims on a starting place at Euro 2016 but, in March friendlies against Germany and Holland, manager Roy Hodgson preferred to start one and bring the other on as a substitute.
But with Liverpool’s Daniel Sturridge unavailable having just returned from the Europa League final and Manchester United pair Wayne Rooney and Marcus Rashford on FA Cup final duty this weekend, the path is clear to pair the in-form duo against Turkey at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.
“Jamie has had a fantastic season and scored a lot of goals so if we are playing together it will be very exciting,” said Kane, ahead of the first of three warm-up matches.
“We are different sort of players – he has got a lot of pace and can run in behind. That will probably allow me to drop off and get into space.
“If the manager puts us together we will be ready to go and try to score as many goals as we can.”
Both men are brimming with confidence given their recent achievements, but Kane says they have avoided repeating their recent bout of light-hearted social media sparring.
At the height of Spurs’ pursuit of the title Kane tweeted a picture of four lions apparently ready to pounce, with Leicester their apparent prey.
The image clearly lingered with Vardy, who shared his own version of events once the Foxes were confirmed as champions – this time a still from Disney’s The Lion King, showing a leading character falling to his doom.
“We had a bit of banter over social media but everything is all good,” said Kane.
“Winning the Golden Boot is always nice, it’s something I’m very proud of, but nothing has really been said about that (finishing ahead of Vardy).
“He won the Premier League so there isn’t much I can really say.
“When I saw him I congratulated him on winning the league.”
The outstanding performances of Kane and Vardy have thrust a different kind of spotlight onto captain Rooney.
While in previous tournaments he has shouldered most of the burden for England’s attacking exploits, many are now suggesting he may have to move back into a midfield role to remain in the starting XI.
With 109 caps and a national record 51 goals, Rooney’s Three Lions CV still carries considerable weight, not least with his team-mates.
“Wayne is a great player and our captain. He is the one that leads us out,” said Kane.
“The stats are there to see. As a striker, that’s all you can look at.
“He is a fantastic player, a great trainer and works very hard. I can only learn off players like Wayne.
“You’ve seen throughout his career he doesn’t just score goals, he creates goals and has a great pass on him.
“So if the manager picks him in a deeper role and me up top in France, of course I’ll be looking forward to that kind of service.”
Hodgson was joined by England rugby head coach Eddie Jones yesterday as the Three Lions prepare for their first pre-Euro 2016 friendly.
Two months after leading the country to their first Six Nations Grand Slam since 2003, the Australian linked up with his footballing counterpart at St George’s Park. He was given a tour of the facility by Hodgson and joined the England boss for training, where they spent the session deep in conversation together.
Ahead of tomorrow’s friendly against Turkey, Hodgson was able to call upon 19 of his 26-strong provisional squad, with Manchester United’s players absent due to the FA Cup final against Crystal Palace today.
Adam Lallana, Nathaniel Clyne, James Milner and Daniel Sturridge were also absent after their part in Liverpool’s Europa League final loss to Sevilla, but captain Jordan Henderson was in training as he looks to improve his fitness.
The 25-year-old was an unused substitute in Basle, having only managed 26 minutes off the bench since returning from a knee problem sustained in April.
Henderson arrived at St George’s Park on Thursday and trained with his team-mates the following morning, joining Gary Cahill as England prepare for the first of three friendlies.
The Chelsea centre-back missed the first pre-Euro 2016 training session with a knock, but has now returned to training ahead of the Etihad Stadium encounter with Turkey.