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Kane's England strike rate betters record-breaking Rooney as he sits second to Lineker

18:32 BST 07/09/2019
Harry Kane England Bulgaria 070919
The Tottenham striker was among the goals again in his latest outing for the Three Lions, with Bulgaria breached in a Euro 2020 qualification clash

Harry Kane’s remarkable strike rate for England has him bettering the return of record-breaker Wayne Rooney, with only Gary Lineker ahead of him.

The Tottenham striker earned his 40th cap for the Three Lions on Saturday against Bulgaria.

A Euro 2020 qualifier at Wembley was not expected to pose too much of a challenge for Gareth Southgate’s side.

So it proved, with captain Kane leading the charge for the home side.

Bulgaria set up at the home of English football with the intention of getting men behind the ball and making life as difficult as possible for the hosts.

Southgate’s men struggled for creative spark at times, but saw their probing rewarded in the 24th minute.

Kane had already seen one effort ruled out for offside when he found a way to open the scoring.

Bulgaria were caught trying to play their way out from the back, with Raheem Sterling stealing in to tee up his skipper for the simplest of finishes.

That effort was Kane’s 23rd for his country, with only former Spurs striker Lineker able to better the return of a current Tottenham star through his first 40 appearances for England.

Manchester United legend Rooney is England’s all-time leading scorer, having found the target 53 times in his 120 appearances.

He did, however, have just 14 to his name when hitting the back of the net against Russia when earning his 40th cap.

Kane is well ahead of that pace and has time on his side at 26 years of age.

He still has some way to go if he is to match and better Rooney, but is well on course.

Having broken the deadlock against Bulgaria, Kane went on to record his 24th and 25th goals for his country when converting two second-half penalties – moving him ahead of 1966 hat-trick hero Sir Geoff Hurst.

He also drilled in a low cross for Sterling to bundle home England’s third of the evening from close range.

His value to the Three Lions cause cannot be underestimated, with Southgate still looking to him for inspiration.

Kane claimed the Golden Boot at the 2018 World Cup, as England reached the semi-finals, and recorded crucial strikes en route to the last four of the inaugural Nations League.

He is now up and running at club and international levels for 2019-20, with Spurs hoping he can help to deliver major silverware while the Three Lions edge their way ever close to next summer’s European Championship.