Questions had been raised after the Scotland game about Kane’s physical tiredness and it is now approaching five hours since the Three Lions captain scored for his country.
But when asked bluntly for his plans regarding selection ahead of their Group D decider at Wembley, Southgate gave Kane a ringing endorsement.
“Will Kane start? You can assume that!” Southgate said. “I don’t mind giving you that.”
Kane had been substituted late in the game against Croatia and more significantly had also been withdrawn with 16 minutes to go against Scotland on Saturday.
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During the World Cup in Russia three years ago, Kane was replaced just once against Panama when the Three Lions were already six goals to the good.
“No we’re not used to him going off,” Southgate accepted.
“But in one of the games this tournament we were already ahead and we needed energy to press and keep the lead – we didn’t need an additional goal.
“Harry, during the World Cup we ended up playing a lot of football and we felt the need to manage that load a little bit this time. And we have got good option on the bench to bring people into the game.
“But he’s our most important player, there is no doubt about that – you have only got to look at his goalscoring record with us to see his importance to the team.
“He’s fundamental not only to the goals he scores but the build-up play and everything else he brings.”