Jordan Pickford has proved why he is England's number one, says Gordon Banks

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Gordon Banks believes the England goalkeeper’s jersey is now Jordan Pickford‘s to lose after his performances in the World Cup.

There had been some debate prior to the tournament in Russia over who Gareth Southgate’s first choice would be but the manager opted for Everton’s Pickford over Stoke’s Jack Butland.

The 24-year-old justified his selection with some fine displays, most notably in the knockout stage wins over Colombia and Sweden.

Banks, England’s 1966 World Cup-winning keeper, told BBC Radio Five Live’s Sportsweek programme: “I thought he played really well. I was quite surprised, when you think he is quite young.

“If he is able to keep his position in that goal then obviously the better he will become and the more confident he will become. I like the way he played and am looking forward to seeing him again.

“I am sure the manager will pick him for the next few games. If he keeps playing as he has done he will stay with that job, definitely.”

Banks hopes England’s run to the semi-finals can provide a springboard to win a tournament in the future.

The 80-year-old said: “I hope they can keep together and keep feeling confident they can eventually win things.

“If they stay together and play together and get used to each other there is always a good chance.”

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There's more to come from Harry Kane, says Tottenham team-mate Toby Alderweireld

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Harry Kane missed an opportunity against Belgium

Toby Alderweireld got the better of Tottenham team-mate Harry Kane when the pair crossed paths in Saint Petersburg but believes the striker’s starring role at the World Cup is “just the beginning”.

Kane’s six goals leave him primed to bring the Golden Boot back to north London, with French pair Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe needing a hat-trick against Croatia in the final just to draw level.

But the England captain was shut out for the third game in a row as Belgium sealed a 2-0 win in the third-place play-off.

Spurs defender Alderweireld had nothing but good things to say for his club colleague though.

“I think Harry is one of the best strikers in the world, of course he is,” he told Press Association Sport.

“He’s an all-round player. He’s not just scoring goals, he’s helping the team play better. The only thing he didn’t do is score against Belgium so that’s a positive for us!

“But he is a wonderful player and still very young as well, people forget that.

“He has the desire to be one of the best, maybe the best, and this is just the beginning I think.”

Alderweireld also claimed bragging rights over Spurs midfielder Eric Dier, sliding to clear his goalbound chip off the line with the match delicately poised at 1-0.

It was England’s best move of the night, with Dier desperately close to providing a memorable finish.

“I spoke to him after, I said ‘I’m sorry. I’m sorry’,” said Alderweireld.

“It was very good play from him, he did everything perfectly but unfortunately for him I was in the right place.”

Tottenham had a total of nine players involved in the last four of the tournament – testament to the calibre of the side compiled by Mauricio Pochettino.

They are still yet to cap their development with silverware but Alderweireld said: “It is something for the club and the fans to be proud of, you can see that for the past few seasons.

“Of course everybody will say you didn’t win anything yet but our level every season is top four and we are extremely consistent. You can see at this World Cup. The players are at a good level and being decisive players for their countries.

“Spurs are going the right way.”

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Golden Boot favourite Harry Kane turns in listless display as England slump to Belgium defeat

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Harry Kane's World Cup came to an end with a quiet display.

Harry Kane‘s World Cup came to an end on Saturday with an ineffectual display as England lost the third-place game to Belgium 2-0.

Kane was unable to add to his tally of six goals for the tournament, though he’s still the frontrunner to win the Golden Boot.

Here’s a closer look at the England captain’s performance against Belgium.

KEY STATS

Goals – 0

Shots – 2

Shots on target – 0

Pass accuracy – 100%

Key Passes – 0

Dribbles – 0

Touches – 26

30-SECOND REPORT

Saturday’s middling display concluded a strange World Cup for Kane, who will likely go home with the Golden Boot having never truly lit up the tournament. In a way the striker’s performance here summed up his team’s as a whole in Russia – full of admirable effort, but not good enough to truly threaten a stronger team.

GOT RIGHT

Kane had a 100% accuracy on his passing, one of the few bright spots of his display on Saturday. He rarely attempted anything too expansive, but his link-up play was statistically perfect. In fact, he may be entitled to complain at the service he received, given how well he was able to find his team-mates throughout the game.

GOT WRONG

Kane was barely involved in the final third – his 26 touches were the joint-lowest of anyone on the pitch from the two starting XIs, alongside England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford. Given this was a chance to lead England to their best-ever World Cup finish since 1966, and end his own tournament on a high, it was a strangely limp display from the captain.

VERDICT

There are days when Kane’s effort masks the shortcomings in his display, and this was one of those days. The Tottenham striker clearly tried hard, but couldn’t get involved enough to have a true impact on this game. Belgium’s defence nullified his threat and he could do little about it as England’s thrilling World Cup came to a limp end.

In fairness, though, and if reports are correct, Kane was hampered by a niggling injury problem throughout.

RATING – 6/10

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