England boss Southgate wants captain Kane as one among many leaders

World Cup 2018

Harry Kane may be the lionheart skipper chosen to inspire England at the FIFA World Cup in Russia this summer — but coach Gareth Southgate wants leaders all over the pitch.

That’s according to Kane’s team-mate for club and country Eric Dier, who was touted by many as a possible candidate for the role as the captain of the Three Lions at the tournament.

But far from being disappointed that his fellow Tottenham Hotspur ace was handed the armband by Southgate (Dier was in the frame along with Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson), the midfield maestro is delighted by the move.

Southgate’s men play friendly games against Nigeria at Wembley this Saturday and Costa Rica at the home of Leeds United, Elland Road, five days afterwards and if you would like a flutter our friends at free bets is the place to go. Elland Road will be their last warm-up match before the event kicks off on 14 June.

England’s Group G fixtures sees them face Tunisia on 18 June, Panama on 24 June and Belgium on 28 June.

And Dier, who has been capped 25 times for his country and who pulled on the captain’s armband on a couple of occasions in friendly matches, says with captain Kane spearheading the attack, England are in good shape. He insists, also, that the captaincy for Kane is fully deserved.

He said: “I wasn’t disappointed. I’m very happy for Harry to be given the opportunity. I think it’s fully deserved.

“And one of the things Gareth said when he spoke to us was that he wants things to continue in the same way, where he has leaders all over the pitch, and hopefully I can continue to do that as well.

“I think it’s important that the whole team, everyone has to share the responsibility between everyone.

“It would be unfair on Harry or anyone else or the manager himself that they should have to take all the responsibility. Everyone has to take ownership.”

Dier adds that the way Kane carries himself along with his work ethic, both in training and in matches, means he is the ideal candidate to be captain.

He added: “I am really happy for him. It is going to be a really special tournament for him, to be able to lead the team out.”

Dier is seen by many as a vital component to the England squad and it is the options he provides — the term “utility player” is far to basic for such a flair player but you get the idea — that makes him so valuable. He can happily operate in the middle of the park and doubles up as a central defender, too.

He said: “If people see me that way, as versatile. I think that’s only a positive really. I’d be very comfortable doing that and very adequate to do that job. I’ve played there a lot for my club and it’s something I think I can definitely do.

“I don’t pay too much attention to experience. I think it is all about your mentality and attitude and the way you approach things.”