Mauricio Pochettino believes Harry Kane is a “special” and a rare player who is likely to stay at Tottenham Hotspur for the rest of his career but stressed that the club need still need to manage him in a “clever” and “human” manner to snub the overtures of big European clubs.
Last Saturday, Liverpool agreed to sell Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona in a £142million deal after the Brazilian initially tried to force his move to the Camp Nou during the summer transfer window. Tottenham have found themselves in similar situations before, with Gareth Bale and Luka Modric opting to leave Spurs to continue their careers at Real Madrid.
Pochettino pointed to examples of stars like Luis Figo and Cristiano Ronaldo wanting to leave Barcelona and Manchester United, respectively, and said that it is almost impossible to keep a player once his head gets turned. So it’s crucial to create the right atmosphere for them in the first place. The Argentine says that such sort of situation would be the reality for Spurs too if Kane’s head is ever turned.
Kane, who scored an incredible 56 goals in 2017, has been regularly linked with Europe’s big guns but has stuck with boyhood club Spurs.
After the striker scored twice against AFC Wimbledon to take his tally for the season to 26 goals, Pochettino concedes it would be tough to keep his best player if he wants out.
“It shows how difficult it is to keep players,” the Spurs boss said of the Coutinho deal after his side’s 3-0 FA Cup third-round win over Wimbledon, as reported by Daily Mail.
“Liverpool is one of the best clubs in history, in the world, and look when Coutinho or a player like Coutinho wants to leave, how difficult it is to keep your best player.
“I think Liverpool wanted to keep him but it is difficult to keep him, and look what happened with Cristiano Ronaldo with Manchester (United), (Zinedine) Zidane with Juventus, and (Luis) Figo with Barcelona.
“There is a lot of examples that it is so, so, so tough for everyone to keep your best player if the player in some moment turns their mind and says “now I want to leave”.
“If another club pay the type of money they pay, like it was with Barcelona and Liverpool, how you stop it?”
The Spurs manager hopes Kane spends the rest of his career at North London but warned that the club must take extra care of their star man to ensure he doesn’t leave.
“I think Harry is special, so special, because he loves Tottenham and he feels Tottenham,” Poch admitted.
“But we need to be careful and be clever how we manage him and then the player needs to choose to stay here, you cannot force everyone to stay here.
“I think our job is to try to work together and to try to achieve all that we want, the club, everything that we will for the club. Of course, Harry is a special player.
“I told him he seems like (Francesco) Totti in Italy, only a few players so special can spend their whole careers in one club. And I think Harry is this type of player, but in football, you can’t be sure of anything.”
I firmly believe that Harry Kane wouldn’t leave us. His love for the club is quite obvious and I’m sure he will give his best and probably even beyond his best to help us win trophies.