Tottenham duo Eric Dier and Harry Kane have both spoken about the risk of burnout ahead of the 2018 World Cup this summer – but it is a Manchester United star who has played more football than any other Englishman since Euro 2016.
Kane has carried the burden of being both Tottenham and England’s main source of goals over the past 18 months, and the striker recently admitted his fitness needs to be managed carefully if he is to maintain his impressive consistency.
A hamstring injury has seen the 24-year-old pull out of the latest England squad for the friendlies against Germany and Brazil.
“The hamstrings are fine, but look, we’ve got keep an eye on it,” Kane said recently. “It’s something that happened and we don’t want it to happen again. It’s about maintaining it. It’s a long old season.”
He added: “We play so many games and we’ve had so many high intensity games – it takes it out of you.”
Dier, meanwhile, has revealed the exertion of 2015-16, when he established himself as a Tottenham mainstay before going on to represent England at Euro 2016.
“A crazy amount of games,” he told The Times. “I’d never played anywhere near that amount and the Euros, though ending badly, was an incredible experience.
“After that you have a very limited holiday and when I returned for pre-season my mindset wasn’t right. I was mentally tired. I wasn’t ready to put my whole body into it again.
“It probably took six months — January, February — for my football to get better.”
We’ve looked back at which English players have made the most appearances since Euro 2016 to see who might need a rest if they are to be firing on all cylinders in Russia this summer.
Marcus Rashford – 79
Eric Dier – 72
Dele Alli – 71
Raheem Sterling – 69
Alex Oxalde-Chamberlain – 66
Gary Cahill – 65
John Stones – 65
Jamie Vardy – 64
Kyle Walker – 63
Jesse Lingard – 62
Harry Kane – 58
Michael Keane – 58
Joe Hart – 57
Ryan Bertrand – 51
James Milner – 51 (retired from international football)
Jordan Henderson – 50
Harry Maguire – 50
Theo Walcott – 50
Marcus Rashford may have youth on his side, but both Gareth Southgate and Jose Mourinho are likely to be a little wary about the amount of football the 20-year-old has played over the last two years.
At the other end of the spectrum, Adam Lallana, Jack Wilshere, Danny Welbeck and Danny Rose are among the players to have played relatively little football since the tournament in France due to injuries.
Should the likes of Lallana and co. prove their fitness in time for this summer, they may have the advantage of being somewhat fresher than some of their rivals.
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