Jamie Carragher’s admiration for Harry Kane has increased even more over the past couple of years due to the way in which the Tottenham striker has adapted his game.
Heading into the last World Cup in Russia, Kane was still very much an out-and-out number nine, who mostly looked to play on the shoulder of the opposition defence and capitalise on chances inside the box, and that is exactly how he won the Golden Boot during that tournament.
However, four years on, the striker has evolved into more of a nine-and-a-half, demonstrating his excellent vision and passing range when he drops deep to receive the ball.
That adjustment to his game has been evident in Qatar, where although the England captain has not found the back of the net, he is leading the assists charts with three to his name so far.
Carragher spoke in glowing terms of Kane for sacrificing his pursuit of goals to be more useful to the team.
The pundit wrote in his column for The Telegraph: “For many years, Kane has been one of my favourite Premier League players, and my admiration for him has only increased because of the manner in which he has restructured his game, and effectively reinvented himself to remain world-class.
“There is no English striker who can hold the ball better, win free-kicks to relieve defensive pressure or bring others into play, and I have long argued Kane is as good as any passer in the Premier League, and the best in the England squad.
“Kane’s all-round game is better than ever as he has been forced to compromise the ‘selfish’ pursuit of goals. He wants to be involved in the build-up because he understands he no longer has the pace or stamina to keep sprinting beyond defences.”
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Carragher’s point about Kane’s unselfishness is a very important one as the striker could have easily insisted on playing as a penalty box poacher, which would have helped him maximise his goal output at the potential cost of the team.
Given his goal record, managers would have had no choice but to continue starting him regardless. However, the 29-year-old has not done that either for club or country, and instead sacrificing his goal numbers (which are still excellent) for the betterment of the team.
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