By London correspondent Tony Hughes
Harry Kane would not be at Tottenham were it not for Mauricio Pochettino, according to Les Reed.
The Southampton director brought Pochettino to English football three-and-half years ago when he persuaded the Saints board to hire the Argentine as Nigel Adkins’ replacement.
There was bafflement in the English game at the time but it proved to be a masterstroke as Pochettino kept the Saints in the top flight before equalling club’s best Premier League placing of eighth in his first full season. Tottenham then came calling in May 2014.
Pochettino is building the best Tottenham team for over 30 years and, although their title challenge ended on Monday night with the 2-2 draw at Chelsea, the team’s combination of silk and steel has lifted them to second in the Premier League.
Their title challenge has been built upon the youngest squad in the Premier League, including a number of Academy graduates led by Harry Kane.
“Tottenham have always had a terrific academy,” Reed said, as quoted by the Evening Standard. “But you need a manager who will buy into it.
“Mauricio will know the names of all the Under-18s and Under-21s at Spurs. He will spend time with them every day.
“Without someone like Mauricio who believed on him, Kane could be out on loan again somewhere wondering whether he will get a chance.
“But he trusts young players. And he is a very, very good coach for them. He could go on to many more big things.”
Reed, 63, the former Charlton manager and FA England coach, saw the same trademarks at Southampton.
“You will not find a manager who works as hard — who is out there on the training pitch all the time,” he told the Evening Standard. “At Southampton, we had been a bit scared of the Premier League and allowed teams to attack us.
“I knew Mauricio’s style would be the opposite — that we would press opponents. You can see now how well Tottenham do that. They move the ball so well and have so much confidence.”
In other Tottenham news, it has been reported that Bayern Munich have a “crush” on a 22-year-old Spurs ace.