London (AFP) – Harry Kane could become as emblematic a player for Tottenham Hotspur as Francesco Totti was for Roma, his manager Mauricio Pochettino said on Friday.
The 24-year-old England striker — who has been with Tottenham since 2009 — established a new Premier League record of goals in a calendar year with a hat-trick against Southampton earlier this week to move to 39 in 2017.
That took him past Alan Shearer’s previous record of 36 goals in a year set in 1995.
Kane has a total of 56 goals for club and country this year, making him the highest scorer in Europe in 2017, and Shearer thinks he could remain with Tottenham for the rest of his career.
Totti did likewise in the Italian capital, becoming known as ‘The Eighth King of Rome’ as he spent the whole of his professional career with Roma, totting up over 600 appearances and only retiring aged 40 at the end of last season.
“I think Alan Shearer knows better than me, because he’s English and knows the mentality of the country,” said Pochettino, Tottenham’s Argentine coach.
“Maybe he said that because maybe it’s possible. Maybe Harry Kane with his mentality can be the same kind of player for Tottenham as Francesco Totti was for Roma.
“And for us, our fans and everyone, Harry is a fantastic player, a great mentality and a fantastic professional. So yes, why not, why not?”
Pochettino, who admitted Kane is a doubt because of a heavy cold for their away match at bottom side Swansea City next Tuesday, said he couldn’t put a price on the 23-times capped striker’s head.
“I think Harry doesn’t have a price, because we want him here. He’s priceless, there is no price,” said Pochettino.
“We can talk about many things, but at the end it’s talk for talk, because it’s impossible to put a price on him.
“He’s not suddenly become a superstar because of achieving an amazing record.
“Nothing has changed, he was a superstar three years ago, one year ago, six months ago and one week ago. We’ve always treated him like a superstar.”
However, Pochettino admits with Liverpool splashing out £75 million ($100 million) for Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk — a world record for a defender — earlier this week sometimes it is impossible to turn down offers.
“We need to talk about reality,” said Pochettino, whose side are fifth in the table, an enormous 21 points behind leaders Manchester City.
“Reality is that Liverpool offers or pays £75 million for Virgil van Dijk.
“If you want a player, a club asks a price and you pay; that’s it.
“That’s the reality of Van Dijk. We cannot guess or create fantasy around different players.”
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