Sunday News

Spurs look ahead to life after Kane


When Ange Postecoglo­u was interviewe­d by Tottenham Hotspur in May, he knew he would most probably have to plan to be without Harry Kane if appointed head coach.

Now that has become a reality, after Kane signed a four-year contract to join Bayern Munich, Postecoglo­u has acknowledg­ed that the fans will have a period of mourning and that no forward can exactly replace their record goalscorer. Postecoglo­u's plan and signings so far have been geared towards developing a team where the goals and threat will arrive from different areas.

Tottenham had become increasing­ly reliant on Kane's goals, creativity and linking play, while fully accepting that also inhibited other players and parts of the team. Last season he scored 30 of the 45 goals scored by the club's six forwards.

Postecoglo­u likes a quick and energetic forward and he can mould his team without trying to adapt his 4-3-3 system to Kane's style and lack of pace. At Celtic, Postecoglo­u's forward Kyogo Furuhashi never saw a great deal of the ball in build-up play. Furuhashi was heavily involved in the first line of pressing and running in behind to stretch the defence, creating space for the

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two No 8s behind. But when the chances came, Furuhashi was able to finish, scoring 23 goals and making three more in the league last season.

Replicatin­g that idea at Tottenham will mean using Richarliso­n's aggression and pace, centrally, to create the pockets for the midfielder­s James Maddison, Yves Bissouma or Giovani Lo Celso. It will be a big season for Richarliso­n, who managed only one league goal after his £60 million arrival from Everton.

Richarliso­n is the Brazil No 9 and his coaches and team-mates have often praised his determinat­ion and selflessne­ss. Over four years at Everton he averaged more than ten goals and three assists in the league. "Richarliso­n has got some really strong attributes that fit in well with the way my team is set up," Postecoglo­u said. "He's a hard worker for the team."

Richarliso­n will be joined in a fluid attacking three by Dejan Kulusevski and Son Heung-min, who was joint Golden Boot winner with 23 league goals in 202122. Postecoglo­u wants a similar return to what Arsenal's attackers managed last season, where four players scored 11 or more goals and six players were involved in more than ten league goals.

"I'm not expecting one player to step up and cover the absence of Harry," he said. "It's about how we can become a strong combined offensive force. There's opportunit­y. What the great clubs do is replace greatness with greatness. They find a way to grow even when the greatest leave their doors."

Postecoglo­u suggested that players could emerge from Kane's shadow. "We're going to have to spread out the goals and Madders provides that," he said. "He's been brilliant. An area that needed bolstering was midfield threat in terms of goals and assists and that's what Madders provides."

While Tottenham have historical­ly turned to fading stars trying to appease fans, Postecoglo­u likes lesser lights. The plan is to sign a young forward, which could be Gent's 21-year-old Gift Orban, in addition to signing Alejo Veliz, the 19-yearold striker from Rosario Central.

Tottenham need to trim a bloated squad and recoup some of the £155 million net spend this northern summer, without the fee for Kane. "We need to move out some players," he said. "It is only fair that our supporters do have a sense of mourning because Harry has been a hero. We've been planning for this for a while. Nothing changes. We'll try to build a team that plays football that excites our fans."

 ?? ?? Harry Kane is departing Tottenham Hotspur for Bayern Munich.
Harry Kane is departing Tottenham Hotspur for Bayern Munich.

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