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Harry Kane of England is challenged by Aleksander Dragovic of Austria - Getty Images

Harry Kane of England is challenged by Aleksander Dragovic of Austria – Getty Images

It was Jose Mourinho who refined Harry Kane as a “No 10” in his early days at Tottenham, when it looked like the England captain could break his duck and win a major trophy in his deeper role.

Mourinho has departed but Kane’s function as creator and goalscorer has remained. The Premier League’s top scorer last season also had the most assists. For Gareth Southgate heading into the European Championships, it presents the paradox of his most creative player being best suited to be on the end of his own passes.

At Spurs it relies on Son Heung-min and one other wide forward racing ahead when Kane drops deep and gets on the ball. It is an attacking play which takes discipline and tireless team-mates like Son.

In their first warm-up match for the Euros, Kane dropping deep looked like a problem that needed solving before the start of the tournament. He was involved in Bukayo Saka’s winner, shifting the ball to forward runners, but England were squeezed for space in the areas he occupied.

One solution, proposed by Roy Keane, would take brave team-mates to execute. The Manchester United captain, working as an ITV pundit, suggested England players should start putting crosses into dangerous areas where Kane should be. When he is 20 yards back rather than in the six-yard box, even the captain can be told what he should be doing.

It is easier said than done, with Southgate’s young squad looking up to their skipper, who is likely to become the country’s leading international goalscorer in their lifetime.

Particularly in the first half against Austria, Kane needed to be further forward. As he dropped, he was effectively in the way of Jack Grealish, who was England’s most creative player at the Riverside.

Watching on from the TV gantry was Ian Wright, imploring Kane to move himself into the penalty area where he would be found by Trent Alexander-Arnold’s crosses or Grealish’s passes. When he did get into the area, Grealish found him with a through ball for England’s best chance of the first half.

“It’s something I’ve been doing in my game for a while but we’re just seeing the final product a bit more,” explained Kane earlier in the season. “The passes are a little bit better, the finishes are better and it catches the eye a bit more.”

Grealish moves the goalpost for England and Kane. With the Aston Villa midfielder playing, Kane can trust his team to create those chances and the opportunities will come.

He can revert back to being more Alan Shearer than Francesco Totti, who also had Filippo Inzaghi or Christian Vieri playing ahead of him on the pitch when he pulled the strings for Italy.

When Dominic Calvert-Lewin came on, he stretched the Austrian defence with his direct running off the last defender. Unfortunately there is no way to play Kane and another No9, as it would deprive Southgate of another attacking midfielder. It must simply come down to the England captain driving into the penalty as he has done for most of his 34 international goals