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Toby Hoping Harry’s OK

Toby Alderweireld has his fingers crossed that Harry Kane is fit to face the USA and says the World Cup needs the best players taking part.

Kane and Alderweireld were team-mates at Tottenham until the Belgian defender left to play club football in Qatar two years ago, and they still keep in touch.

After Belgium’s narrow win over Canada on Wednesday, Alderweireld was asked about Kane’s ankle injury which means he might miss England’s match with the USA on Friday night.

He said: “I don’t know what the situation is, but of course, everyone hopes that he’s fit. The World Cup needs the best players, and he is one of the best strikers in the world.”

And having spent seven seasons in the Premier League with Southampton and then Spurs, Alderweireld added: “I lived a long time in England, and have a lot of friends there, so if we don’t win it, then I have a good feeling about them.”

Belgium were not at their best against Canada, and Alderweireld admitted: “We didn’t play our best game but I think we we fought hard, especially in the second half. It’s better to improve things when you have three points in the bag, though.”

Pressed on the reasons for a below-par performance, he said: “We weren’t good enough on the ball, we didn’t create the right spaces and we could have hurt them a lot more. Our last pass had to be a lot better to really hurt them.

“The first stage is to get through the group and then we’ll see how far we can go. But we need to improve. That’s what we know. This is the first good step in results, but in terms of play, we can do better.”

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