If England are to mount a serious challenge for Euro 2020 glory this summer then they “need” Harry Kane and Marcus Rashford to be fit, says Alan Shearer.
The Three Lions are currently sweating on the fitness of two key men heading towards another major championship.
Tottenham striker Kane is working his way back from hamstring surgery, putting his place as England captain at risk, while Manchester United forward Rashford is nursing a back complaint.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has admitted that the Red Devils star may be ruled out of international duty if those at Old Trafford feel he is not ready to form part of Gareth Southgate’s squad.
That would represent a major blow to the Three Lions’ plans, with the 2018 World Cup semi-finalists determined to end a long wait for tangible success.
Former striker and captain Shearer said in First Post during a visit to India: “I would hope England have a really good opportunity because they could even play the semi-final and final both at Wembley.
“At the minute, we don't have Harry Kane or Rashford fit in terms of centre forwards, so if we are going to be successful, we will need those two fit, especially Kane.
“But, if not England, then France.”
While Southgate will be desperate to see Kane and Rashford come back into contention, he does have alternative options at his disposal.
Shearer believes star turns on the books at Chelsea, Southampton and Everton could come into the reckoning, while there remains an outside chance of talking a prolific Leicester striker out of retirement.
“You have got great opportunities whether the manager picks Jamie Vardy or not and asks him to come out of retirement,” said Shearer.
“He is the joint top scorer in the Premier League at the minute with 17 goals along with Aubameyang; then you have Tammy Abraham who has had a very good season in the Premier League. I know he has not played the last couple of matches.
“Then you have Danny Ings, then you have Calvert-Lewin as well.”
England have outings against Italy and Denmark to come in March, before wrapping up their Euro preparations with friendlies against Austria and Romania.
Their European Championship campaign is due to get underway on June 14 when they are reunited with familiar foes Croatia.