By Tottenham correspondent Tony Hughes
Harry Kane begged the Tottenham coaches to select him ahead of Roberto Soldado – before he had even made his Premier League debut.
Former Spurs coach Les Ferdinand has revealed how Kane told the management when he was a rookie that he was already a better player than Spain international Soldado.
The Villarreal striker left White Hart Lane last summer following two disappointing seasons at the club in which he scored just 16 goals in 76 appearances following his £26million transfer in 2013.
Kane, then 20, was emerging through the ranks at the end of the 2013-14 season but had no doubts in his own ability to lead the Tottenham attack.
Ferdinand, who is now QPR’s director of football, was on the Spurs coaching staff under previous manager Tim Sherwood in the second half of the 2013-14 season and grew to know Kane well.
“Mentally, he is very strong,” Ferdinand told Sky Sports News on Saturday afternoon. “In the year we took over from AVB (former manager Andre Villas-Boas), Harry was coming to us and saying, ‘get me in the side, I need to be in the side now’.
“Soldado wasn’t scoring and Harry was saying, “I’m better than him, I can score’. We didn’t want to put him in the side at that point because we knew that if he didn’t score in the first five or 10 minutes, the supporters would be singing Soldado’s name.
“He got into the side at right time, scored a couple of goals and hasn’t looked back.”
Kane is a nailed-on starter for England’s Euro 2016 opener against Russia next weekend on the back of a second consecutive outstanding campaign for Tottenham.
Kane topped the Premier League scoring charts with 25 goals this season, the first Englishman to do so in 16 years.
Asked if he was surprised at Kane’s stunning rise, Ferdinand told Sky Sports News: “Yes. I was talking to Tim the other day about it. We always thought that Harry would make a very good footballer.
“We did not believe he would get to where he has got to this quickly and as well as he has done. He’s surpassed what we believed he would be.
“I felt he was going to play in the Premier League. The best accolade I can say about Harry is that I used to say to Tim, ‘he strikes the ball like Alan Shearer but his movement and intelligence was like Teddy Sheringham’.
“He’s gone on. I thought he would play for a mid-table Premier League side, I never thought he would stay at Spurs and go on to do what he has done on a regular basis.”
Kane has taken his outstanding goalscoring form in domestic football into the international arena, scoring five goals in 12 matches for England.
In other Tottenham news, the north Londoners have been given fresh hope in their pursuit of key summer target Victor Wanyama.