Harry Kane should start England’s Group G clash with Belgium on Thursday from the bench, says Sol Campbell.
Kane has taken his sparkling form with Tottenham from last season into this summer’s World Cup, scoring five goals in England’s first two matches to lead the race to win the tournament’s Golden Boot.
The Spurs striker will no doubt want to continue his rich vein of form when England play Belgium, but Campbell believes Gareth Southgate should consider resting the 24-year-old, with England having already qualified for the knockout stages.
“I would rather him [Kane] on the bench and then coming on for the last 20 minutes, half an hour,” Campbell told The Verdict on Sky Sports News.
“He’ll be desperate to play but I think you have got to look at the bigger picture. Yes, he wants to win the Golden Boot but then you have got to save the legs.
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“You don’t realise, you can be buzzing, everybody can be happy and confidence is high but it is draining you.
“The mental drain on then body and the mind from these big games takes a lot out of your system so to have a little rest and then go again is all good. From your legs to your mental approach, I think it all factors in.”
Southgate and Belgium counterpart Roberto Martinez are expected to rotate players when the two sides meet in Kaliningrad, but Campbell believes England, in particular, will benefit from an element of continuity in their team selection.
“You can’t change the team too much because then it really gets disjointed and the team hasn’t really played together,” he added.
“You need a couple of players who have been playing on a regular basis and then put some new players in if you’re going to change it a little bit.
“You can’t have a whole new team – I think that’s the wrong way to go about it – but it’s all about winning and keeping that momentum going. That’s what Gareth has to balance out.”