Harry Kane would not want to risk tarnishing his Tottenham legacy by leaving the club in the summer, according to former Spurs striker Dimitar Berbatov.
After another turbulent campaign at Tottenham which will end without silverware, England captain Kane has been strongly linked with a big-money move to Manchester United.
Berbatov helped Spurs lift the League Cup in February 2008, which remains the club’s last trophy, before making the switch from White Hart Lane to Old Trafford just over six months later.
Good to get back to winning ways. Positives to take into the last few games of the season to finish on a high. pic.twitter.com/JC4pBGmyJP
— Harry Kane (@HKane) May 6, 2023
Kane is set to enter the final year of his Spurs contract during the summer, but recently spoke of his determination to restore a strong culture at the club, which is now on a third manager of the season.
Berbatov, who went on to win the Premier League twice with United, can empathise with Kane’s dilemma, but believes the 29-year-old’s heart remains very much at Tottenham where he is now the record goalscorer.
“I can understand and can relate to his situation. I feel for him, but at the same time I think he is going to stay at Spurs,” Berbatov told the PA news agency.
Harry Kane has scored against every club he’s faced in the #PL @HKane | @SpursOfficial pic.twitter.com/r9t4l661Ty
— Premier League (@premierleague) February 6, 2023
“His legacy now is so great that he cannot force himself to tarnish it – when you say Spurs, it is Harry Kane and when you say Harry Kane, it is Spurs.
“They are connected forever because he is the leading goalscorer of the team, of the country (England national team) and probably is going to break Alan Shearer’s record for most goals in the Premier League as well.
“So it is down to him to know what is important for him – (for) his legacy with Spurs, which is unbelievable now.
“(As for) personal records, it is important also to win something before he is finished playing football. It is up to him to decide.”
Former Bulgaria striker Berbatov, speaking on behalf of Enterprise Rent-A-Car, added: “At one point, Spurs are probably going to win something and produce more consistency.
“Every season they have that intent, that this is going to be the defining season, but so far, it didn’t work.
“At one point, I am sure it is going to work, but when is that going to be? I don’t know.”
Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy has also come in for criticism in the wake of a campaign which saw the departures of head coach Antonio Conte and then Cristian Stellini, with Ryan Mason eventually stepping in until the end of the season.
Berbatov believes there has to be a sense of collective responsibility from the training ground to the board room.
“Again they are not at the place that they wanted to be in the start of the season. It is nothing new and everybody connected with Spurs knows it,” said Berbatov, who scored 46 goals over a two-year spell with Tottenham.
“Every season Spurs start with a big expectation based on everything they have in their disposal – a great stadium, the great facility to train, great players as well.
“But while the season is progressing, even if they start strong, then they are declining and that inconsistency kicks in and they start to suffer from it.”
Berbatov added: “It is a shared responsibility – probably 40 per cent the manager, 40 per cent the players and 20 per cent goes to the owners, the people running the club, because it has been a long time since winning a trophy like when I was there.
“At one point Spurs reached the Champions League final and they had a great run with (Mauricio) Pochettino.
“But most of the time that disappointment is there because (after) starting on a strong foot, then slowly and surely they continue to drop down (the table) and don’t achieve what they have wanted to achieve at the end of the season.”
Dimi’s still got it… #MissionMasterclass | @UKEnterprise
— UEFA Europa League (@EuropaLeague) April 18, 2023
While Tottenham may be well out of the running for a top-four finish, they could yet still qualify for Europe again via one of the other UEFA competitions.
Berbatov, 42, hopes another of his old clubs Bayer Leverkusen can go on to reach this season’s Europa League final – if they can get past Roma, now managed by former Spurs boss Jose Mourinho.
“They have another leg, another obstacle in the case of (Jose) Mourinho and his (Roma) team, but I think they can manage to do it,” said Berbatov. “With me being at the final to watch in person, I would like to see them there.”
:: Dimitar Berbatov featured in Enterprise Rent-A-Car’s 2022/23 UEFA Europa League campaign content, Mission Masterclass. You can view episode two in full on UEFA’s official YouTube channel
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