Former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder David Ginola has praised Harry Kane for his new role at the Premier League club, comparing the striker to Diego Maradona.
After a slow start to the season for Tottenham, Kane has turned things around to help the club challenge for a Champions League spot, currently fourth with eight games left to play – though they are level on points with fifth-placed Arsenal who have a game in hand.
Since the start of 2022, Kane has scored more goals than any other Premier League player, finding the net eight times, while also having the most shots, most shots on target and the most non-penalty xG. He has also become the Premier League’s all-time top goalscorer in away games and moved to fifth in the outright standings, just six behind Sergio Aguero.
But Kane has always been a goalscorer. What has changed in the Englishman’s game over the past few seasons, and even more so under Antonio Conte, is the creative side.
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Kane set up Matt Doherty for Tottenham’s second goal in their 5-1 win over Newcastle United, his third assist in two matches after bagging a double in the 3-1 win against West Ham before the international break. The Englishman has five assists in 2022, with no Premier League player managing more, but he has also created the most Big Chances, played the most through balls and has the most open-play xA. And let’s not forget the double he did of the Premier League Golden Boot and Playmaker Award last season.
As part of Conte’s system, Kane drops deeper into a playmaker role while his attacking teammates — currently Son Heung-min and Dejan Kulusevski — fill the gap left by the Englishman. It’s a role we often see Kane replicate for England, albeit with differing results depending on who partners him.
While so look to Kane’s change in play as a point to criticise, especially when his teammates fail to deliver in filling gaps left, Ginola was high in praise of the Tottenham man. So high in praise that he compared Kane to one of the best players in footballing history.
“It [the win over Newcastle] was very impressive,” Ginola told Sky Sports. “Spurs looked so strong, especially in the second half. They looked confident, they are playing their game.
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“They rely on their best assets in the middle of the park, their passing is brilliant and their finishing is amazing.
“The new playmaker at Spurs is Harry Kane. He’s like Maradona now, playing in the middle of the park, long balls, short balls, scoring, assisting – wow. [It’s] the new Harry Kane.”
Kane was also the topic of conversation on Monday Night Football when Wayne Rooney was the guest. Like Kane, Rooney dropped deeper later in his career and eventually played as a midfielder for Everton, adding assists to his game after making it to second on the list of the Premier League’s all-time top goalscorers.
And Rooney had a different player in mind when analysing Kane, comparing him to Roma legend Francesco Totti.
“He’s still a fairly young lad, I don’t think his speed will have gone,” Rooney told Sky Sports.
“I think he’s done that [dropped deeper] off his own back over the last couple of seasons.
“It’s almost like Totti when Totti was at Roma. Roma used to play this way and Totti would come deep, and he had runners running beyond him.”
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