EPL

Kane playing with 'freer mind' for England after strong end to Tottenham season

By Sports Desk June 04, 2022

Harry Kane is playing with a "freer mind" for England following a strong end to his club campaign with Tottenham.

The 28-year-old helped Spurs to topple fierce rivals Arsenal for fourth place in the Premier League, meaning the return of Champions League football next season.

He scored five goals in Tottenham's final five league games to take his tally to 17 for the campaign in the top flight.

That is Kane's joint-lowest tally in the competition in his eight seasons as a regular, alongside 2018-19, and is down on the 23 goals registered in 2020-21.

Kane's lower-than-usual goals return can be put down to a slow start to the campaign when failing to score in his first eight Premier League games of the season.

That came amid a backdrop of uncertainty regarding his future after expressing a desire to leave Spurs, only for the club to block a move to Manchester City.

With Tottenham now thriving under Antonio Conte and Kane seemingly settled once again, the England captain hopes that will be reflected in his performances.

"Whenever you finish strongly with your club there is always a freer mind going into the international stage," he said.

"It was a fantastic summer last year in terms of [Euro 2020]. It ended obviously very disappointingly, but going into these games I feel confident, I feel free.

"We had a good finish as a team towards the end of the season and I had a good season personally, which is always great.

"So I am looking forward to carrying that on into these games. Then, as I touched on earlier, getting a nice break over the summer."

England have four Nations League games in the space of 10 days to round off the 2021-22 campaign, beginning with Saturday's meeting against Hungary in Budapest.

It will be the 25th meeting between the sides in all competitions, with England unbeaten in the past 15 of those in a run stretching back to the 1962 World Cup.

Kane has scored eight goals in his past four international appearances and is now just four short of equalling Wayne Rooney (53) as England's all-time leading goalscorer.

While team honours remain the top priority for Kane, the 2018 World Cup Golden Boot winner admits overtaking former team-mate Rooney would mean a lot to him.

"Of course I think it would be an incredible achievement," he said. "I was lucky enough to be playing on the pitch and actually scored when Wayne broke the record himself.

"I saw how much it meant to him and his family. I did not really think that far ahead at that stage. 

"But to be where I am now – four goals behind Wayne with plenty of games coming up this year – it would be an incredible achievement.

"Whenever you are in among the names of Rooney and [Gary] Lineker and [Bobby] Charlton and players like that you are doing something worthwhile.

"But I am focused on trying to help the team. I always feel if I am doing my best for the team then the goals will come."

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