Graeme Souness has criticised Gareth Southgate for not substituting Harry Kane sooner after picking up an ankle injury against Iran.
The England skipper is one of the Three Lions’ most important players and will be a key part of any success enjoyed during the World Cup in Qatar.
Kane was on the receiving end of a hefty challenge early in the second half of the 6-2 win over Iran, but stayed on the pitch until the 75th minute when he was replaced by Callum Wilson.
Since then, the 29-year-old has undergone a scan to assess the severity of the injury ahead of England’s second Group B clash against USA on Friday, something that Souness believes has come as a result of poor decision-making from England boss Southgate.
Speaking to talkSPORT host Laura Woods on ITV, Souness said: “I’m watching England with a manager’s head on and when I see Harry Kane’s challenge, I’m thinking that this boy has got history with his ankles.
“He stayed down for a bit, he wasn’t right. He was walking around gingerly on it and I’m thinking that he has to come off now.
“That happened in the 48th minute, three minutes into the second half. He went off in the 75th minute so had 27 minutes running on that ankle.
“Some players need saving from themselves. He’s a goalscorer and he’s thinking ‘there’s goals in this game, so I’m going to stay on’. I think that’s a mistake.
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“The manager should have had him off immediately. They were 3-0 up at that time as well.
“You don’t need to risk Harry any more.
“I’ve written about this competition before coming here and I think that England can do really, really well as long as Harry scores lots of goals.
“When they’re playing proper teams I’m not sure who is going to get goals apart from Harry Kane and so I see that as something that was avoidable and that’s down to the manager because a player who wants to be the top scorer in this competition again will act in a selfish way.
“He needs saving from himself.”
Souness added: “That was a bad one. The guy’s weight landed on his ankle and he’ll have had micro-bleeds on that ankle and you’re still running on it for 27 minutes.
“He’s properly rocked that ankle. He’ll have had a bleed there, so for 27 minutes he’s been running around on that ankle and bleeding.
“It’s totally the wrong thing. He should have been off immediately and it should have been on ice and in an elevated position, immediately.”
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