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Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham round-up: Kane comparison; midfielder issues rallying cry; Vertonghen on debutant

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Tottenham

It was quite the weekend for Tottenham’s Harry Kane after he notched goals number 100 and 101 for the Lilywhites in their victory against Everton, and the plaudits have continued to come his way.

This time it has been the turn of manager Mauricio Pochettino to laud the praise on the England international, claiming that Kane has the raw potential to one day be ‘better’ than Gabriel Batistuta.

The Argentine was referring to his fellow countryman, who scored 54 times in just 77 appearances for the national side and managed 207 goals in 332 games for Italian Fiorentina in a nine-year spell.

Talking to reporters, as relayed by the Evening Standard, Pochettino said:

“Batistuta was a killer. Very strong mentality, very strong shot, great professional. You can compare.

“[He’s not quite there yet] but Harry can be better. He is a killer, Harry Kane. Look at the goals he scored the last years. Maybe they have different characteristics but I think he is in that level, with Batistuta. All that is happening to him he deserves.”

In scoring his second at Goodison Park it signalled Kane’s 80th Premier League goal in just 120 appearances, quicker than Thierry Henry (132), Sergio Aguero (128) and Ruud van Nistelrooy (122).

And whilst Kane has continued his fine form from the past few seasons, one man who has a lot to prove this season is £30million man Moussa Sissoko after his underwhelming debut year at Spurs.

The French international arrived on the back of an impressive tournament at the 2016 European Championships but he failed to impress last season, failing to score in his 27 top-flight appearances.

But Sissoko has vowed that he will be a “totally different” player this season, putting in a much-improved display during the victory at Goodison Park on Saturday that was closer to his best form.

Talking to the Evening Standard, he said:

“Last season, I signed at the last minute and didn’t have the pre-season so it was difficult. Now I feel good and ready to fight like everyone to give my best for the team.”

“I had some chances but I didn’t score. I hope next time it will be in, but the most important thing was to have a good game. I hope my goal will come soon.

And finally, Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen has praised the impact that new signing Davinson Sanchez had on his full debut at the weekend, saying that he is no doubt a “great addition” to Spurs.

The 21-year-old Colombian slotted in to a back-three alongside Vertonghen and his fellow Belgian international Toby Alderweireld and didn’t look one bit out of place, putting in a composed display.

And, speaking to Tottenham’s club website, the 30-year-old said:

“He did very well. It was a hard game for him to come into at Everton but you could see his qualities. He’s strong, quick, strong in the air, confident – he’s a great addition to the squad.”

Sanchez arrived from Dutch side Ajax in a club-record £42million deal last month, arriving on the back of an impressive first season in Holland where he helped them reach the Europa League final.

Will is a Multimedia Journalism graduate from the University of Salford, specialising in the art of sports. Long-time suffering Northampton Town fan who once saw us win a league title. Find him on Twitter - @96PearsonW.

Real Madrid

Tottenham should sign Real Madrid’s Mateo Kovacic in a heartbeat

The 24-year-old has a £44 million release clause in his contract.

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Mateo Kovacic
Photo: Getty Images

Mateo Kovacic has revealed he wants to leave Real Madrid this summer and move to a club where he can “play regularly”.

Speaking exclusively to Spanish outlet Marca, he said: “In another club I’ll have the chance to play regularly as a starter. It’s an opportunity that I have & that I want right now.”

According to TuttoMercatoWeb, Tottenham‘s name stands out among the clubs that have positioned themselves to sign want-away Croatian, who has a release clause of 50 million euros (£44m).

Lots has been made of Toby Alderweireld‘s future at White Hart Lane but, in actual fact, central midfield is the area requiring the most attention this summer.

Supporters will go into next season with full faith that Jan Vertonghen and Davinson Sanchez can do a job in the middle of defence, with or without the former Atletico man.

Meanwhile, speculation surrounding Mousa Dembele’s future – he has been linked with a move to both Inter Milan and China – would leave Pochettino in search of  a new central midfielder.

(Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)

Spurs are being linked with a number of names to fill the position, but Kovacic’s is undoubtedy one of the best options among them.

Replacing Dembele with the 24-year-old Croatian international would be no bad move.

Just like the Belgian, Kovacic is a player who thrives in a box-to-box role, providing both power and the ability to pick out a pass – he is the perfect player for Pochettino’s system.

He is a player Spurs fans would love to see at White Hart Lane and the club has reportedly shown formal interest in him before (Sportske Novosti) – a long-term target, who is now very available.

The Croatian finds himself in the same situation for his country as he does at Real Madrid: restricted to substitute appearances behind a midfield bursting with quality.

Nonetheless, this is not a reflection of his own ability and Spurs could offer him the chance of regular first team football under a manager known for his ability to ensure player progression.

£44 million for the youngster’s signature would be a relative bargain considering his current ability, but more importantly his potential. He is a player Levy should snap up in a heartbeat.

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Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham round-up: Kovacic available, Son’s tears and Kane heroics

All the latest news and gossip from Tottenham Hotspur.

Mathew Nash

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Kovacic come-and-get-me plea

Spurs are said to be interested in Real Madrid midfielder Mateo Kovacic. As reported by The Sun, among several other outlets, the Croatian has made it clear he wants to leave Real Madrid in search of more regular first-team football.

He has a £44 million release clause and has also been linked with Manchester United.

Sonny’s tears

Tottenham attacker Heung-min Son has admitted breaking down in tears in front of the South Korea president after defeat to Mexico this week.

(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Son scored a stunning goal in the game, but it proved to be nothing but a consolation for the attacker and his nation. They lost the game 2-1 and, when speaking with the leader of his nation after the game, Son could not contain his emotions. As reported by The Mirror, the Tottenham forward stated he ‘couldn’t stop crying’ after the game.

Harry hat-trick

Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane was one of the heroes as England thrashed Panama at the World Cup this afternoon. The England and Spurs striker scored a hat-trick for England in a 6-1 win. He netted two brilliant penalties, before deflecting Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s effort off his heel and into the net.

Kieran Trippier put in another fantastic performance whilst Eric Dier was an unused substitute and Dele Alli missed the game with a thigh problem.

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Tottenham could be set to make £23 million mistake with Alassane Plea

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Photo: Getty Images.

The role of a back-up striker is one which continues to prove problematic for Mauricio Pochettino and Tottenham Hotspur. Vincent Janssen and Fernando Llorente are the most recent new members to try, and fail, to satisfy fans as an alternative to Harry Kane, but now a new figure could enter the club.

The Sun say that Spurs may make a £23 million move for OGC Nice striker Alassan Plea to rotate and compete with the England captain, but to invest such a fee may just be throwing money down the drain.

At first glance, you may think that his record is impressive enough to put him into contention. 21 goals in 48 games in 2017/18 isn’t bad after all.

Fairly quick and a keen dribbler of the ball, drifting wide and cutting inside at times, he would clearly offer an alternative to Kane.

(Photo credit should read VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images)

However, there are plenty of reasons to be concerned too. At 25-years-old he should be approaching the peak of his career, but with only two and a half years of top flight experience he lacks the maturity that some other players at that age possess.

That alone is not a reason to be put off, but his scoring record has not always been so consistent and it does bring back echoes of Vincent Janssen, who joined at a younger age but with three full seasons of first division football in Holland, being prolific in all three.

The other major area for concern is that Plea is not the hardest working, often reluctant to press and defend from the front or drop back when required as Harry Kane is only too keen to do. In Pochettino’s set-up, that could prove problematic.

Daniel Levy clearly has his sights set on resolving this problem yet again after Llorente failed to provide all that Spurs were looking for, but he may be left feeling that he could get more for his money than by gambling on Plea.

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