Tottenham's Harry Kane already one of the world's best, says Mauricio Pochettino

Tom Allnutt 15/09/2017
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Mauricio Pochettino (L), Harry Kane.

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino insists Harry Kane does not need to win heaps of trophies to be considered one of the world’s best strikers.

Kane continued his rich vein of form on Wednesday by scoring twice against Borussia Dortmund and taking his tally to six goals in four matches for both club and country.

After breaking the 100-mark for Spurs last weekend, Kane also now has four goals in four in the Champions League.

But while his record puts him in the same bracket as some of the world’s deadliest finishers, the closest Kane has come to lifting a major trophy was a League Cup runners-up medal in 2015.

Former Manchester United and Everton midfielder Phil Neville told BBC Five Live this week that Kane may have to leave Tottenham to be rated a “world-class player” Pochettino disagrees.

“I think it is two different things,” Pochettino said. “If you see different players and big players, it depends on the team, on the possibility to play in different leagues and countries.

“There are many factors. It is no doubt Harry Kane is one of the best strikers. He does not need titles to show he is one of the best strikers.

“It is true all players try to score, to win and of course to win titles, that is the aim of everyone, but for me so far Harry Kane is showing he is one of the best strikers in the world.”

Kane already has 80 Premier League goals in 120 appearances and he will be looking to extend that total on Saturday when Spurs host Swansea at Wembley.

Pochettino believes even Alan Shearer’s Premier League best total of 260 goals may not be out of reach. “Alan Shearer was a great, one of the best,” Pochettino said.

“But Harry has it all in his hands to try to do everything he wants. He knows well it is step by step and about trying to build his way. I think he is doing fantastic.

“If you see the stats he has a fantastic record and with Harry’s mentality, all can happen.

“His mentality is to stay here. He is so happy not only in the Premier League, he is more than happy to stay at Tottenham. He shows every single day how he loves the club.”

Dele Alli is available again this weekend after missing the win over Dortmund through suspension and Kieran Trippier is expected to be rotated back in for Serge Aurier.

Erik Lamela (hips), Danny Rose (knee) and Victor Wanyama (knee) are all still out while Fernando Llorente is likely to be named on the bench against the club he left in the summer.

Provided by AFP Sport

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Manchester United will cope without Paul Pogba, says Jose Mourinho

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Paul Pogba

Jose Mourinho is uncertain about the severity of Paul Pogba’s hamstring injury but has no doubt that Manchester United have the midfield strength to cope without him.

Tuesday’s long-awaited Champions League return came at a cost, with the 24-year-old only lasting 19 minutes of the 3-0 victory against Basel.

Pogba had been captaining United for the first time when he pulled up as he challenged for the ball.

The France international left Old Trafford on crutches and Mourinho is unsure about his absence beyond Sunday’s Premier League clash with Everton.

“I don’t know, I just know that it’s a muscular injury,” the United boss said.

“He’s obviously out for the weekend match. The weekend match is the only match that I’m thinking about. I don’t think further than that.

“So, for me, it’s just simple and objective: he’s not playing this weekend.”

Immediately after the Basel match, Mourinho spoke of his expectation that Pogba – one of the stars of the first few weeks of the season – faces a “few weeks” out.

However long it ultimately is, the United boss has no doubt his players will step up to the plate.

Michael Carrick, appointed captain in the summer, has yet to play a competitive minute this term, while Ander Herrera – left out of the squad on Tuesday – and Marouane Fellaini offer alternatives.

“We have players and we have players waiting for an opportunity,” Mourinho said. “Because we have started the season really well and with one match per week, (with) no need of resting, (to make) changes, we were basically going with the same players.

“But there are good players more than ready to play, so, honestly, we miss Pogba, we need Pogba, but we have good players.

“Herrera, Fellaini, Carrick, they are waiting – they are waiting for a real chance to start matches and to play matches from the beginning, and they are ready.

“So this is also our way of thinking. We lost important players last season during the season and during crucial moments of the season and we were not crying or making excuses about that. That’s just football.

“Squads are (there) to try to cope with these kind of situations and we know that for a few matches – I don’t know how many, I really cannot tell you how many I expect – but we are going to play without Pogba a few matches.”

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Liverpool midfielder Philippe Coutinho ready to start in Sadio Mane's absence, says Jurgen Klopp

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Philippe Coutinho

Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho is ready to start against Burnley and fill the void left by the suspension of Sadio Mane.

The Senegal international is about to start a three-match ban for his dismissal in the 5-0 defeat at Manchester City and Coutinho would appear to be the ideal fit to replace him, having operated in that same left-sided role for most of last season.

The Brazil international has been eased into the first-team picture after missing the start of the campaign with a back injury, but made his comeback with a 15-minute cameo in the Champions League draw with Sevilla on Wednesday.

Although the 25-year-old showed obvious signs of rustiness the visit of the Clarets provides an opening and offers Coutinho a chance to rekindle his love affair with the Kop after handing in a transfer request a month ago in an attempt to force a move to Barcelona.

“He should be ready (to start),” Reds manager Jurgen Klopp said.

“It was really nice how the crowd welcomed him – no one was 100 per cent sure about this but the Liverpool family was sensitive enough to do this and for him it was good.

“He trained outstandingly in the few sessions we’ve had together since he was back.

“His game was not perfect but that is how it is after a long break, but it helped him and us.  “It is always difficult to replace top-class players (Mane) in a really good shape but we did it at the end of last season when we had to play without him.

“Roberto (Firmino) has already played left wing, Phil has played there and Alex (Oxlade-Chamberlain) can play there.

“Before the season it was clear there would be moments when he (Mane) cannot or should not play games and we reacted in building the squad to have enough options.”

Klopp confirmed Simon Mignolet will return in goal after sitting out in midweek to give Loris Karius a game.
The Reds boss confirmed the Belgium international is his first-choice for Premier League matches, while Trent Alexander-Arnold could return at right-back.

Liverpool’s defence is in the spotlight again after letting a lead slip late on against Sevilla. The back four featured two changes compared to the game against Manchester City, but Klopp insisted those alterations were not the reason for the high number of goals conceded.

“In an ideal world we (would) have 11 players play the whole season, but it is not an ideal world,” he said.
“We didn’t concede a goal because of the formation and (because) they didn’t work together.

“It is a lack of concentration. Our fault is that, with some things, we give you the opportunity to talk about it ,- that is our mistake.

“We cannot take out the five goals against City but if we could do it, we have played a lot of games with decent defensive performances.”

Provided by Press Association Sport

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