Mauricio Pochettino hopes Harry Kane’s ties to Tottenham will keep him at the club for a long time, comparing the England striker to Roma great Francesco Totti.
Kane is aiming to shake off a bout of illness and feature for Spurs at Swansea City on Tuesday following a stellar 2017, when he broke Alan Shearer’s record for the most Premier League goals in a calendar year and outscored Barcelona and Argentina superstar Lionel Messi for club and country over the 12-month period.
A Champions League last-16 tie against Juventus is on the agenda next month, with the prospect of the 24-year-old’s stock rising even further in the eyes of Europe’s heavyweight clubs.
But, in an interview with Gazzetta dello Sport, Pochettino cited one of Italy’s most famous one-club men and his commonalities with north Londoner Kane.
“Harry’s most important gift is his desire to improve,” he said.
“Even his ties with Tottenham are important. He reminds me of Totti with Roma.”
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In terms of who are the best strikers in the world, Pochettino puts Kane alongside two of his Argentinian compatriots – one of whom he will have to nullify when Spurs take on Juve.
“[Gonzalo] Higuain, [Sergio] Aguero and Kane are among the best in the role,” he observed.
Another Argentine forward stole the headlines for Juventus at the weekend, as Paulo Dybala marked his return to the starting line-up with a match-winning brace in the 3-1 victory at Verona.
Juve boss Massimiliano Allegri gave Dybala a spell on the substitutes’ bench earlier this month and claimed comparisons with the likes of Messi and Neymar had proved damaging for the player – only to do likewise after his efforts at the Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi.
“From what I’ve seen so far, he’s an attacker with enormous potential but I share the sense of Allegri’s words,” Pochettino added.
“I work with young people and I know that we must be careful. Newspaper headlines, sudden notoriety and important comparisons can lead to confusion.”
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