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MAURICIO POCHETTINO believes English football does not fully appreciate “killer” Harry Kane.
The Tottenham boss fears this country is too willing to build its stars up, only to knock them down. And Pochettino reckons his star striker would be far more celebrated if he were Italian or Spanish.
Ahead of this evening’s trip to Crystal Palace Pochettino said: “In England you have some very good things but there are things you need to improve with your own players.
“Kane is English and sometimes you push him to the sky and paradise and then you put him on the outside.
“Now, after six years here, I understand a little bit. If Harry Kane is Italian and playing for the Italian side he will be a bit more protected because the
Italian people are more protective of their players.
“When they are at the top they try to keep them up there.
It’s similar to Spain.
Here it is more up and down.
“You score, you are the best. If you didn’t score, you’re criticised.
It’s an observation. That is the problem.”
Pochettino’s comments come after England head coach
Gareth Southgate voiced his concern at the “strange country” where plans to salute Wayne Rooney have been criticised.
Asked whether Kane is now exceeding even his expectations, Pochettino added: “No, because I know him very well.
“He is a killer, an assassin. He wants to kill the keeper. He wants to score, he is so determined to score goals.”
Kane spearheads the Spurs attack today, four days after saving his club’s Champions League life against PSV at Wembley.
It is a rescue act fans are familiar with. Last season at Selhurst Park Kane also had the Tottenham supporters breathing a sigh of relief with an 88th-minute winner.
The England captain has more than lived up to his world-class credentials, with Pochettino insisting that his comparison last season with legendary marksman Gabriel Batistuta (inset) has been more than justified.
Batistuta was Argentina’s all-time leading scorer with 54 goals in 77 official matches until two years ago, when he was surpassed by Lionel Messi.
His 10 goals in three World Cups also made him Argentina’s all-time top scorer in the competition.
Pochettino added: “I compared Kane because his mentality is similar to that of Batistuta.
“Then, of course, maybe Harry Kane is going to improve on his stats.
“But for me Harry can be, or is – depending on the people around him – of a similar mentality to Batistuta.
“I know Batistuta very well. He was my team-mate. And I know Harry Kane.
“They are of a similar mind and focus and determination.”