Belfast Telegraph

Pochettino: Kane deserves PFA award

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino believes Harry Kane's "massive impact" on English football makes him more worthy of the PFA Player of the Year award than Eden Hazard.

This has been a remarkable season for the 21-year-old, who has gone from third-choice striker at Tottenham to net 29 goals in all competitions, represent his country and captain his boyhood club.

The nation has been swept up in Kane's rise, which has clearly impressed fellow professionals given he has been shortlisted for both the player and young player of the year prizes.

The Spurs striker is overriding favourite with bookmakers to beat Hazard to the young player award, although the Chelsea man is as short as 1/7 to win the main accolade.

"I think that Hazard is a very good player, he's fantastic, a great player," Pochettino said of the PFA Player of the Year shortlist. "But the impact that Harry has had on English football is massive.

"Maybe the impact is bigger than Hazard and his performances. Everyone knew that Hazard is a brilliant player.

"But I think not too many people expected that Harry Kane would show the performances that he has this season. This is the difference, I believe."

Kane's position would be further strengthened if he can net at Newcastle on Sunday, making him the first Spurs player to net 30 goals in a single season since Gary Lineker.

"It would be a big thing for the club and for Harry Kane," Pochettino said.

"It's very important for the team. If he arrives at 30 goals for the season, then it's an historic thing.

"I've said that he needs help. I need help. We all need help. But it's always the case that a striker needs the ball to arrive so that he can shoot and score.

"He needs the chance to be created, for people to run and to give him the ball."

It is not only current team-mates that need to help Kane, though, and Spurs are likely to dip into the transfer market this summer to help share the goalscoring burden.

Roberto Soldado and Emmanuel Adebayor may well exit after underwhelming campaigns, with Pochettino accepting a striker is up there with his summer plans.

"Maybe it's one of our ideas, our priority," he said. "Maybe, yes.

"After analysing all season, after the season finishes we need to analyse again.

"We have all the information. We record all the training sessions and we need to sit, analyse and take a decision.

"You never know (if Kane will still be our main striker) but when you show the stats from Harry Kane he is the best striker today in the Premier League."

This is set to be a busy summer for Spurs, with post-season matches in Australia and Malaysia now followed by a trip to the United States in July.

Last month Pochettino had said Tottenham would forego far flung trips in a bid to aid pre-season, yet it was announced the club would face the MLS All-Stars in Colorado on July 29.

Put to the Spurs boss it seemed quite a marked change in tackle, he said: "It's only one game. We go there and back.

"It's nine hours. I explain to you because it's important for us.

"It's a very important game because it's against the All-Stars with the biggest stars. It's only one game, it's after three weeks training here.

"I think it's a good possibility to go on Monday and come back after the game on Wednesday.

"We only spend three days. It's not a pre-season tour, where you spend maybe 14 or 15 days away.

"On a pre-season, you need good pitches for training. You have a problem with traffic, like happened on the last pre-season tour. It's not proper to train and prepare for the season.

"When we start pre-season, we have three weeks here and after we go and back. It's only one game.

"It's a good possibility because it's a prestigious match. Maybe we play against Kaka, David Villa. It's a very good test for us. I think it's a very good game to play in."


From Belfast Telegraph