Ollie Watkins’ chances of becoming a regular starter for England have taken a blow, according to former goalkeeper Rob Green. The Aston Villa striker was selected ahead of captain Harry Kane for Monday night’s World Cup qualifier against North Macedonia.

Despite the Three Lions dominating possession, it was a difficult night for Watkins, who found space and chances at a premium. He was replaced by Kane in the 58th minute with England trailing 1-0 due to a controversial penalty awarded against debutant Rico Lewis. goalkeeper Jordan Pickford had saved the initial shot but could do nothing about the rebound as North Macedonia took the lead in the first half.

It took Kane just a matter of seconds to make an impact on the game. With his first contribution from a corner, the England captain forced Jani Atanasov to put the ball in his own net to make it 1-1, that is how the game stayed.

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After the match, Watkins admitted that he found himself isolated. “Yes, we should come away with a win, but we played well,” he said. “It was a very difficult game. I was very isolated.

"Whenever we crossed it, I had two defenders on me. I knew it was going to be difficult [to play against] a back five. But you are going to get these games, and it is something to learn from.”

Analysing the game on BBC 5Live’s Monday Night Club , Green has said that Kane’s instant impact could be bad news for Watkins ahead of next summer’s European Championships. “I think he’s (Southgate) seen enough,” he said. "I think he’s made his mind up.

“I think he saw Ollie Watkins and went ‘I tell you what, I don’t think tonight he’s been up to the standard we need’. That was the decision, if a manager makes a substitution and the player is directly involved with the goal 30 seconds later, I think that’s quite a good decision.”

Watkins will look to continue to impress on the domestic stage when he returns to Premier League action with Villa on Sunday. Unai Emery’s men take on Tottenham with Watkins looking to add to his 11 goals in all competitions so far this season.

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