Harry Kane: Alan Shearer on England's newest striking call-up

BBC Match of the Day pundit Alan Shearer

Former England captain and BBC pundit Alan Shearer, who scored 30 goals in 63 games for his country, explains why he thinks Tottenham striker Harry Kane can carry his impressive club form into international football in Friday's Euro 2016 qualifier against Lithuania.

Harry Kane has already shown he has the ability to be a top Premier League striker, but it is his attitude that will help him make it at international level too.

I spoke about him recently to one of his former coaches at Tottenham, my old Newcastle team-mate Les Ferdinand, and he says Harry always wants to learn and improve.

He is not the kind of player who will stop working hard just because he has been called up to the senior squad for the first time by Roy Hodgson.

Yes, there was an arrogance about what Kane said over the weekend about him wanting to play for England now, and not just be part of the squad. But it was a good arrogance.

Even before Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge pulled out because of injury, I said that Kane should start against Lithuania in Friday's Euro 2016 qualifier.

One of the reasons I think that is because he has got the confidence to go into the England set-up and straightaway believe that he belongs at that level.

He wants the chance to prove himself. I was the same, and I can understand why he has been compared to me.

Harry Kane and Alan Shearer
Harry Kane and Alan Shearer impressed their respective England bosses with their domestic form

I am a huge fan of his and what I love about him is that he scores all types of goals and does not care about the reputations of whoever is marking him.

He has got a great touch, heading ability, can mix it physically and his finishing is top class.

There is a bit of everything to his game and he is happy to run in behind defenders or come short looking for the ball.

He is still raw but, if you put all of that together, then it suggests he can be very, very good.

Shearer v Kane
GamesGoalsGoals/game ave
Alan Shearer104200.19
Harry Kane95360.38
League records only - games and goals up to England debut, assuming Kane plays against Lithuania

My advice to Harry? Enjoy every minute

There are a few reasons why it sometimes takes players time to adjust to international football.

When you are called up for the first time, you probably don't know a lot of people and it is not like joining a new club where you can settle in quickly because you are with your team-mates every minute of the day.

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With England you get maybe five to 10 days together, sometimes not for a few months. You cannot form relationships until you have spent time with people and it takes a while to get used to that.

On the pitch, it is different too. It is described as a step-up is because in the main you are up against better players than you are most weeks at club level.

That will not be the case against Lithuania, though. Again, that is why Hodgson should chuck Kane in for that game.

It is a game we will win anyway and, if he waits until the friendly against Italy on Tuesday, then there will be a lot of changes and it will be difficult to look at Kane properly.

He has scored 29 goals already this season and is clearly in brilliant form, so Friday would be a great chance for him to make a flying start to his England career with a goal on his debut.

Kane is certainly capable of it and I know how extra special it would be for him because it happened to me.

Alan Shearer is challenged by France's Basile Boli on his England debut
Alan Shearer tussles with France defender Basile Boli in his first game at Wembley

Graham Taylor gave me my England debut at Wembley in February 1992 in a friendly against France, who at the time had not been beaten for 20-odd games.

I was thrown in, like I think Kane should be, and started up front.

Sheffield Wednesday striker David Hirst was my partner in the England attack, with Gary Lineker on the bench.

The moment I had lived for all my life

Beforehand, I was determined to enjoy every minute of that game because I did not know whether I would get another chance, and my advice to Kane would be to approach his debut the same way.

Just before half-time came the moment I had lived for all my life. Nigel Clough took a corner, Mark Wright headed it down inside the area and I turned to fire the ball into the net.

I scored hundreds of goals in my career but I will never forget my first one for my country.

It was an amazing feeling, and I really hope Kane gets to experience it this week too.

There was more - Lineker came on for the second half and I set him up to score our second goal in a 2-0 win.

Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer after Shearer's England debut
Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer provided the firepower up front for England against France in 1992

I was voted man of the match and my prize was two flights to New York. I never quite made it there, though - I gave the tickets to my sister instead.

For me it was pretty much a perfect debut, apart from the fact my mum and dad were not there to see it because I only found out a few hours before kick-off that I was playing and it was impossible for them to get down from Newcastle to Wembley in time.

But it did not stop me being dropped to the B team for England's next game, a friendly against Czechoslovakia a month later.

That was a big disappointment but I had to deal with it, and at some stage Kane will have to face a setback too, whether it be an injury or some bad luck.

His attitude will also help him deal with when something goes wrong, but for now I just want him to keep going. He deserves this chance.

Competition up front is a good thing

When I broke into the England team, I was fighting for a place alongside Lineker with Paul Merson, Nigel Clough, Alan Smith and Hirst. It was quite intense.

It has been a long time since there has been any sort of competition up front and I think it is a positive that Hodgson might have a problem about who to pick up front when everybody is fit.

He has got Raheem Sterling, Sturridge, Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck as well as Kane so, at some stage, someone is going to be disappointed. That's not a bad thing.

They already have Kane saying 'I'm here, I've arrived and I want my chance' and it will be even better if they start pushing each other as they fight for their place.

At the moment we don't know how Kane will fit into the team but I believe he will be an excellent foil for Rooney, and there is only one way to find out.

Alan Shearer was talking to BBC Sport's Chris Bevan

England boss Roy Hodgson with striker Wayne Rooney
England manager Roy Hodgson could decide to partner Harry Kane with Wayne Rooney

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