Tottenham head coach Antonio Conte labelled Harry Kane a “world-class striker”, adding the Spurs star is one of the best players he has worked with despite his goalscoring woes.
Kane is the reigning Premier League Golden Boot winner, but the Tottenham talisman has struggled this season, scoring just once in 14 appearances.
It comes after Kane eyed a Spurs exit before the start of the 2021-22 campaign, however, a proposed move to champions Manchester City did not materialise.
Despite looking a shadow of his usual self, Conte – who has managed the likes of Romelu Lukaku, Carlos Tevez and Diego Costa – hailed England captain Kane.
“Harry is a world-class striker,” Conte said ahead of Sunday’s showdown with Liverpool. “Every day that I train him I understand very well that he’s a world-class striker.
“He’s one of the best I’ve had the pleasure to train. He’s amazing. I like to have him in my team.
“For sure Jurgen [Klopp] likes to have Mo Salah. But I like to have Harry in my team.
“He’s an important player for us and my expectation was very high and to play an important game against Liverpool.”
Back to work at Hotspur Way.
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) December 17, 2021
On Kane’s lack of goals, Conte added: “It’s very strange, no? It’s very strange.
“If you compare what he did in the past, this is very strange. But also in the past, in my experience, before as a player and then as a coach, it happens.
“I played with important strikers who – for a long period – didn’t score. But my judgement about them didn’t change.
“I wanted to have them in my team also if they don’t score. Because if you have Harry Kane in your team, you feel stronger, for sure.”
Tottenham have won just one of their past 17 Premier League games against Liverpool (D4 L12), losing each of the last six in a row.
Conte’s four Premier League meetings with Liverpool have seen him win once, draw twice and lose once. The Italian’s first ever defeat in the competition was in a home game against Liverpool, with his Chelsea side losing 2-1 at Stamford Bridge in September 2016.
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