Peter Crouch believes former Tottenham club-mate Harry Kane has become the complete forward.
Having spent loans of varying success at Leyton Orient, Millwall, Norwich and Leicester, the 22-year-old began last season as third-choice striker at White Hart Lane.
Free-scoring Kane swiftly moved to the front of the pecking order and has become an England regular, being named last term’s PFA Young Player of the Year.
The striker is shortlisted for both prizes in this year’s PFA awards and took his Premier League goal tally for 2015/16 to 24 with a double in Monday’s 4-0 win at Stoke.
Crouch, who left Tottenham for Stoke in 2011, was an unused substitute at the Britannia Stadium and was as impressed as anyone by his former colleague’s continued rise.
“He was training with us when I was there and I got on really well with him,” said former England frontman Crouch.
“He’s a great lad and he deserves everything he is getting now because he is a great lad and a fantastic player.
“He has just come on so much. I remember when I was at Spurs and he was basically just breaking through.
“He was a goalscorer, you could tell that, but he is a top-class centre-forward now.
“His goal against us, the first one, was incredible and every time he gets near the goal he is a threat, isn’t he? You feel like he is going to score.
“I think they were the best team we’ve played this year.”
Crouch believes it may be too late for Tottenham to usurp Leicester and win the Premier League.
At one stage, it looked like a career at the top may have eluded Kane.
“I think he is a clever player and he has got two good feet,” Crouch said.
“I think he has got everything, really, that you need as a centre forward.
“I remember Tim (Sherwood) and Les (Ferdinand) working very, very hard with him at his game.
“He is the type of lad that will listen and take that on board, and he has become a top, top quality player for Spurs and for England as well.”
Crouch joked that in hindsight he wish he had voted for Kane rather than Leicester’s Jamie Vardy for the PFA Player of the Year prize, having given his vote to Dele Alli for the Young Player award.
The duo were joined in the Spurs side on Monday by fellow England internationals Danny Rose, Kyle Walker and Eric Dier, with such talent exciting 42-cap Crouch ahead of Euro 2016.
“The English players in that Spurs side are very impressive,” he said. “I thought Kyle Walker and Danny Rose were exceptional (against Stoke).
“Dele Alli and Harry Kane get all the plaudits because they are forward players who score and create goals, but I thought the two full-backs were exceptional again.
“Of course, it is bright for England I think.”
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