It’s not always easy to spot talent in players when they are just beginning their journey with the first team, but Jermain Defoe has revealed what it was like to see Harry Kane in training for the first time at Tottenham Hotspur.

Defoe himself is something of a legend at Tottenham, having scored 143 goals in 362 appearances for the club across two stints during his playing career (Transfermarkt).

Jermain Defoe

Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

His affiliation with Spurs has come full circle, with Defoe now taking on a coaching role within the club’s youth system. One of his key responsibilities now then, is to recognise and nurture young talents in the Spurs academy.

While Defoe and Harry Kane didn’t cross paths for long during Kane’s ascension to the first team at Spurs, they did spend time training together in the early days of Kane’s path to stardom.

Kane has eclipsed Jermain Defoe’s goalscoring record at Spurs, and now has 261 goals in 408 appearances for the club (Transfermarkt). His talents are clear for all to see now, but Defoe has said he was impressed from day one.

Speaking on William Hill’s Stripped Podcast, Defoe recalled the first time he trained with Kane and how his natural ability shone through immediately.

Defoe said: “Harry’s goalscoring ability is natural, you can’t teach that. I remember the first time I saw Harry when he trained with the first team at Spurs, I was like ‘wow.’

“He was just hitting corners, that was natural. The way he finishes is like [Alan] Shearer. He scored a lot of goals, but he just put his foot through the ball.”

He went on to discuss Kane’s goalscoring technique in more detail, adding “For someone like Harry Kane, they’re just clean, calculated finishes in the corner.

“The goal against Liverpool the other week, just a little touch and finish. He knows exactly what he’s doing, he doesn’t just want to hit the target. He’s taken his game to another level.”

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It wasn’t always clear just how good Harry Kane would be, when you consider his performances during loan spells in his early playing days where he didn’t exactly set the world alight. But, you can just imagine how he was in training, with the natural talents that he obviously possesses.

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