Harry Kane failed to secure a Tottenham exit in the summer and has struggled to be his usual prolific self which has led Antonio Conte to comment on his recent form
Antonio Conte has admitted it is “very strange” that Harry Kane has scored only one Premier League goal this season.
The former Chelsea coach has quickly improved the Spurs defence which has conceded only one goal in his first four Premier League matches back in London.
Yet Conte has not been able to get Kane scoring again in the league. The Tottenham No.10 won the top flight’s Golden Boot Award last year with 23 goals – just one ahead of Salah.
This season the Egyptian has found the net 15 times in 17 matches while Kane has only scored against Newcastle in October. Over the same period, he has scored six times for England in World Cup qualifiers.
“It’s very strange, no?” said Conte. “It’s very strange. If you compare what he did in the past, this is very strange. But also in the past, in my experience, before as a player and then as a coach, it happens.
“I played with important strikers who, for a long period, didn’t score. But my judgement about them didn’t change. I wanted to have them in my team also if they don’t score. Because if you have Harry Kane in your team, you feel stronger, for sure.”
And Conte said welcoming high-flying Liverpool and Salah to the Tottenham Stadium was the kind of occasion that his team and Kane will relish.
“These important games bring excitement to the players,” he said.” We know very well the difficulty that we can face to play against Liverpool in this moment but at the same time the players will be excited to play against a strong team.
“Harry is a world-class striker. Every day that I train him I understand very well that he’s a world-class striker. He’s one of the best I’ve had the pleasure to train. He’s amazing.
“I like to have him in my team. For sure Jurgen likes to have Mo Salah. But I like to have Harry in my team. He’s an important player for us and my expectation was very high and to play an important game against Liverpool.”
Conte has followed Salah’s progress from his spells with Fiorentina and Roma in Serie A to his magical displays in the Premier League.
“Every time he has the ball he’s a danger,” said the former Juventus and Inter boss. “He improved a lot, I remember him when he played in Italy.
“Now he’s improved in an incredible way. Now I think he’s one of the best players in the world and in every game he’s very decisive.”
The Spurs boss said he will need to pay “great attention” to players returning from Covid.
“Every one of us would like to pick the best players, the best starting XI, but at the same time you need to understand they need a bit of time to have good form, to be fit and not risk an injury,” he said. “Otherwise it would be a disaster.”
But when asked about the January window, he added: “At this moment, I’m making an evaluation about the whole squad.
“Covid will be a good opportunity for someone to show me they deserve to continue to play for Tottenham.”