Southgate opens up on honest impressions of Harry Kane from England U21 days

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Image: SpursWeb

Gareth Southgate has claimed that Harry Kane has always possessed the playmaking and passing ability that he has recently been praised for this season.

Kane has become Tottenham’s creator in chief this season, dropping into much deeper positions than in previous years and picking out runners with lovely through balls.

The 27-year-old is currently sitting at the top of the Premier League’s assist charts, having set up eight goals so far.

The Spurs man has admitted that he is eyeing 20 goals and 20 assists this season on the back of how he has started the campaign (ITV Football Show Podcast).

Southgate admitted that England are lucky to have the Tottenham man at their disposal. He told The Evening Standard: “Clearly the combinations at the club with Son, in particular, when you’ve got runners going beyond him, he will find the passes.

“So we are privileged to have him, we know that and it’s great to see him hitting that sort of form ahead of the weekend.

“Every country is going to play differently and have their outstanding players who have different sorts of attributes. Harry is a different type of centre-forward to (Romelu) Lukaku, for example. Different to (Olivier) Giroud or Mbappe, depending on who plays for France. We are just delighted we’ve got him and we know his impact.

“His scoring record for us is just phenomenal. Absolutely phenomenal. You always know, going into a game with the likes of Harry, with Raheem as well, that we’ve got tremendous goal threat now, which a lot of countries would be delighted to have.”

The Three Lions boss first recognized his potential as England Under-21 coach and while he accepts that he did not fully appreciate the striker’s ability back then, he insisted that Kane was a playmaker even as a youngster.

Southgate added: “I think the first game we had with the Under 21s, he started on the bench, which showed what we know about talent observation. But he came into the game as a 10.

“We were away in Finland and he came on as a 10. We had Saido Berahino as a 9 and he immediately created a goal that got us an equaliser.

“I know there seems to be more emphasis or more spotlight on that part of his game now, but he’s definitely always had it. He’s as good a provider and as good a passer as he is a finisher and he is, of course, an outstanding finisher. I am hoping he does get that 50th cap on Sunday because it would mean we’d have got through another couple of days without losing another player.”

Spurs Web Opinion

I believe Southgate spotted quicker than Pochettino did that Kane’s best position was playing as a number 10, with quick forward players like Sterling and Rashford ahead of him. Mourinho essentially seems to be using a similar playbook to the one England have been for the last couple of years in using Kane as a cross between a No.9 and No.10.

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