England legend Alan Shearer has provided words of warning for Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane after the latter's underwhelming performance against Russia at the weekend, in comments given to BBC Sport.
The former Newcastle United favourite has often spoken of his appreciation of the 22-year-old, who outscored the rest of the Premier League in the recent season and has made an impressive start to his international career. However, Shearer admitted that Kane was a disappointment in England's frustrating draw.
"I am a huge fan of Kane," Shearer told BBC Sport. "He has had another fantastic season for Tottenham, but he looked very leggy and tired against Russia on Saturday.
"Kane did not have a lot of energy and he did not play well. He did not manage a single touch in the opponents' penalty area."
The 45-year-old suggested Roy Hodgson could be tempted to adjust his attacking options if the Spurs forward once again struggles to make an impact in the Three Lions' must win match against Group B leaders Wales, with Leicester City attacker Jamie Vardy the man that could be given a chance.
"Hodgson would be well within his rights to tell Harry Kane that his performance in Saturday's draw against Russia was not good enough and he has to improve or he will change things up front - and rightly so," Shearer said.
"I think he should have brought Jamie Vardy on for Kane with half an hour to go against Russia, to give us something different in attack."
Despite a somewhat dificult European Championship debut for Kane, who scored 25 goals in 38 Premier League matches last season, Shearer urged Hodgson to challenge the Spurs star to raise his game rather than make immediate changes.
"I would tell Kane - and also Raheem Sterling, whose final ball was yet again very poor - that, although I am going to stick with you, if you do not do better then I will make those changes during the Wales game," Shearer said.
England's match against their neighbours could be the perfect opportunity for Kane to make an impression. Much of his general play against Russia was decent enough, but it was a sustained goal threat that was missing from his performance, an understandably important part of a striker's game.
On Thursday, he will be facing familiar opponents mostly coming from the Premier League, where Kane has so impressed over the last two years.
With that in mind the 22-year-old will undoubtedly be eager, and confident, of adding to his five international goals, firing his country to the win they desperately need in the process.