By Matt Farr
Alan Smith believes Tottenham goalscorer Harry Kane has what it takes to emulate all-time great Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
The 23-year-old netted his third hat-trick of the season in the 4-o rout over Stoke at the weekend, taking his tally to 22 goals from 27 appearances for Tottenham.
His golden touch in front of goal has drawn endless praise from pundits in recent weeks, and former Arsenal striker Alan Smith has joined the queue.
In his column for the Standard, Smith insisted that Kane has the talent to follow in the footsteps of Manchester United star Ibrahimovic, who has achieved success for a number of Europe’s elite clubs throughout his career.
He said: “Can Kane emulate Ibrahimovic by excelling for club and country with a constant stream of goals over the next decade? He definitely has the talent.
“The task is not beyond him. The complete centre-forward deserves a career to match.
“To surpass the 100-goal mark at this stage really takes some doing, even if some of those strikes came lower down the ladder. The challenge now, one not entirely in his hands, is to turn that prolific return into solid silverware.”
A brace from Ibrahimovic inspired Manchester United to a 3-2 victory over Premier League rivals Southampton to lift the EFL Cup title on Sunday, adding to a trophy cabinet already teeming with silverware for the Swede.
The well-travelled 35-year-old has won league titles in Holland, Italy, Spain and France, as well as earning international recognition as Sweden’s all-time record top goalscorer with 62 goals.
Kane, meanwhile, is proving week-in, week-out that he can reach a similar level.
He finished the 2015-16 campaign as the Premier League’s top goalscorer with 25 goals from 38 matches, and is leading the goalscoring charts once again this season – alongside Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez and Everton’s Romelu Lukaku (all with 17).
Meanwhile, with just 17 senior caps to his name, his career with the England national team is also still in its early years.
In other Tottenham news, Harry Redknapp admits that Kane has surpassed all his expectations this season.