LONDON (Reuters) - Harry Kane’s stunning start to September after a barren August has raised questions about whether he can fulfil his ambitions with Tottenham Hotspur, but manager Mauricio Pochettino says he does not need to move to join the greats.
The 24-year-old went through the 100-goal barrier for Tottenham when he scored twice against Everton last weekend and followed that with another brace in his side’s Champions League victory over Borussia Dortmund.
With two for England against Malta on Sept. 1, Kane has notched six goals in his last four games after failing to score in August.
His 103 goals for Tottenham in 170 appearances stacks up favourably against the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, who needed 188 and 253 games respectively to reach a century in club football. Former Arsenal player Thierry Henry needed 181 while Neymar reached 100 in 177.
Messi and Ronaldo had both scored more goals by the time they had reached Kane’s age, although they had played more games.
“He could have to leave Spurs to become that top, top, world-class Robert Lewandowski-type player,” former Manchester United defender turned pundit Phil Neville told the BBC.
“If they maintain being a top-four team, that will not be good enough for Harry Kane.
“He needs to be challenging for the Ballon d’Or. He needs to be challenging for Champions Leagues and if Spurs are always going to be that ‘nearly team’, eventually he will want to leave and join a Real Madrid or a Barcelona.”
Asked about Neville’s comments, Pochettino said Kane, the Premier League’s golden boot winner for the past two seasons, was already in the “great” bracket, even if he has so far failed to win any silverware with Tottenham.
“There’s no doubt Harry Kane is one of the best strikers,” Pochettino told a news conference on Friday.
“It’s true that players try to score to win and show good performance and in the end win titles. That’s the aim for everyone. In my opinion he does not need titles to show that he’s one of the best strikers.”
Kane will take aim at Swansea City on Saturday at Wembley as Tottenham try and win their first Premier League match there, having disposed of Dortmund on Wednesday.
They are still without left back Danny Rose and midfielder Erik Lamela, both with long-term knee and hip injuries.
“I am a coach not a doctor,” Pochettino said. “Both are doing well but we have to wait and we cannot give a date on their return to training.”
Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Christian Radnedge