England and Tottenham star Harry Kane believes he coped well with the transfer speculation linking him to Premier League champions Manchester City.
Kane was heavily tipped to join City, but a move did not materialise during the previous transfer window and the Tottenham forward has struggled for form this season.
The 28-year-old had initially not returned for pre-season training and while he has committed to Spurs for the time being, Kane has looked a shadow of his usual self in London, where Antonio Conte has since replaced Nuno Espirito Santo in the dugout.
Kane has scored only one goal in the Premier League – last month’s 3-2 win over Newcastle United, while he has netted seven across all competitions this term, including five in the Europa Conference League.
On the eve of England’s World Cup qualifier against Albania on Friday, Kane was asked about his Euro 2020 hangover.
“Obviously, there’s a lot of talk and a lot of speculation over the summer, the first real time that probably happened to me in my career,” Kane told reporters after featuring in England’s run to the Euro 2020 final, which they lost to Italy.
“But that’s part and parcel of learning, that’s part and parcel of being a big player, having to deal with those situations. And I think I dealt with it well. And now it’s just about focusing.
“There is still a long way to go at club level. And now, for me, it’s just about finishing these two games strongly with England and finish off what’s been a great calendar year.”
Kane – whose Spurs are ninth in the table and six points adrift of the top four during the international break – added: “Whether I’m doing really well or the goals aren’t quite coming, it’s just to work hard, train hard, work hard for the team. And that’s what I’ve done my whole career.
“Obviously, there’s not been many spells, for example, for club not scoring as many as I’ve scored so far this year. But in terms of an England calendar year, it’s been a great year for me personally, and I hope to continue that tomorrow night.”
England face Albania in Group I, knowing a win would see them move within a point of qualifying for Qatar 2022, assuming second-placed Poland do not fail to win in Andorra.
Gareth Southgate’s England are unbeaten in their last 18 matches in all competitions – their best undefeated run since going 19 in a row without defeat between November 1965 and November 1966.
This will be Southgate’s 67th match in charge of England – the joint-most of any England manager since Bobby Robson left in 1990, equalling Sven-Goran Eriksson’s tally between 2001 and 2006.
Southgate has already won more games (42) than Eriksson (40), with only Sam Allardyce (100 per cent) and Fabio Capello (67 per cent) having a better win ratio for England than Southgate (64 per cent).
Kane added: “It’s always about getting back to the basics, getting back to the training pitch, working hard there and doing my best. Obviously, we play a lot of games throughout the year. There’s not much time to recover and reflect on things.
“So any time you can just get on that training pitch, work on a few things, get back to what you know best is important, and that’s definitely what I try to do.”