Graeme Souness has criticised England manager Gareth Southgate for not substituting Harry Kane after he suffered an ankle knock against Iran.
The English Football Association remain tight-lipped about the captain’s fitness but it is understood the Tottenham striker was due for a scan before Friday’s clash with the USA.
Kane took a knock in their 6-2 opening win over Iran but played on before eventually being substituted in the second half.
While Graeme Souness believes Kane shoulders some responsibility for staying on as he could sense he had the opportunity to score, the ex-Scotland captain thinks Southgate should have taken him off right away given his injury history.
“It was a bad one. The lad’s (Morteza Pouraliganji) weight was on Harry’s ankle,” Souness – who clashed with Roy Keane whilst on punditry duty on Tuesday – told ITV1.
“He will have had micro-bleeds in that ankle and then you are still running on it for 27 minutes more.
“It’s totally wrong. He should have been off immediately and it should have been in ice, in an elevated position, immediately.
“It ain’t rocket science. He’s got history with a dodgy ankle; get him off. He needed saving from himself.”
Ex-England right-back and former assistant coach Gary Neville admits he is worried about Kane’s injury as he does not believe there is a like-for-like replacement.
“I’m a little bit worried as England are being a bit coy about it,” he said.
“There is no direct replacement for him, no-one can link play like him.
“I think (Callum) Wilson and (Marcus) Rashford are good when there is space in behind but when you have a team with a packed defence you struggle when you don’t have a player who is good with his back to goal.”
England take on the USA on Friday evening in their second Group B clash at the World Cup.
Gregg Berhalter’s side looked impressive in the opening 45 minutes against Wales on matchday one but were comfortably second-best in the second half.
Wales boss Rob Page opted to start Daniel James over Kieffer Moore and it ended up being a very poor decision given the Fulham forward’s anonymous performance while he was on the pitch.
Natural no. 9 Kieffer Moore came on at half-time and played a huge part in the Dragons’ well-earned point.
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