Mauricio Pochettino delivers verdict on Tottenham star, compares him to 43-goal La Liga ace
By Matt Farr
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino insists Harry Kane is just as important to the club as Lionel Messi is to Barcelona.
However, Spurs have still won all three of their games in his absence, raising questions over the importance of Kane, despite the England striker scoring 24 goals from 29 appearances this season.
But Pochettino has rubbished the ‘crazy’ talk that Kane would have to fight for his place back in the Tottenham starting eleven, insisting he is one of the best players at his disposal.
When asked if Kane would have to fight for his place, Pochettino compared his influence to that of Barcelona goal sensation Messi, who has netted an incredible 43 goals from 41 appearances this season.
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He told ESPN: “The question is crazy. You cannot doubt Harry Kane. Maybe the team is playing well but you know, if we play Harry or don’t play him from the beginning [against Watford], there is no doubt Harry is one of the best players.
“It’s like at Barcelona, if Messi is injured for a month but Barcelona are still winning and he’s available again and them saying, ‘I don’t know, maybe we use different names.’
“His [Kane] mentality is always pushing for more, more, more. It’s great news for us to have the possibility for Harry to count again. It’s very, very good news.”
Tottenham had proved in the back-to-back victories over Southampton, Burnley and Swansea that they do not have to rely on Kane or his goals, although it was not always straightforward.
Against Swansea on Wednesday, for example, Tottenham’s lack of conviction in the final third almost let them down, only for an 88th-minute Dele Alli goal to spark a dramatic turnaround.
They had been trailing Swansea courtesy of Wayne Routledge’s 11th-minute strike, but Tottenham ended up winning the game 3-1 thanks to a late three-goal blitz within the final six minutes.
However, Tottenham will no doubt welcome their top goalscorer back into the frame with open arms, as he is set to return at a crucial time for the Premier League side.
The north London club still have crucial Premier League meetings with Arsenal and Manchester United to come before the end of the campaign, while an FA Cup semi-final clash with Chelsea is also on the horizon.