Harry Kane scored a brace in today’s 3-0 FA Cup third round win over Wimbledon, and naturally everyone’s still talking about his future. This came up again in a press conference after the match in the wake of Philippe Coutinho’s £142m move from Liverpool to Barcelona. Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino was asked his thoughts on the Coutinho transfer, and whether something similar could possibly happen to Harry Kane.
Here’s his reply.
“I think Harry is special, so special, because he loves Tottenham and he feels Tottenham. But we need to be careful and be clever how we manage him and then the player needs to choose to stay here, you cannot force everyone to stay here. I think our job is to try to work together and to try to achieve all that we want, the club, everything that we will for the club. Of course, Harry is a special player.
“I told him, he seems like Totti in Italy, that is, only a few players, such special players, can spend all their career in one club and I think Harry is this type of player that can, can stay in a club like Tottenham because he loves Tottenham.
“But in football you cannot be sure, for nothing the truth is today, the present it is tomorrow, after tomorrow you need to doubt what is going to happen. That is why it is so important to work together and try to achieve all that we want and of course this present in Tottenham, this future in Tottenham this project is so exciting and I hope and we hope that all together we spend a lot of time here and try to win trophies and achieve all that we want.”
Pochettino’s English is pretty good now, but I think he still finds it difficult sometimes to get nuance across in press conferences. What I hear him saying here is that Kane wants to stay at Tottenham because he’s an Enfield lad and he loves the club, but the club’s ambition must match his own ambition. For Pochettino, that means his job is to keep the club improving, keep challenging for titles, silverware, and trophies. So long as Tottenham Hotspur’s ambition remains high, Harry Kane will remain a Tottenham player.
It’s definitely an exciting time to be a Spurs player, with the club performing as well as it has since the 1960s and a new stadium coming in August. However, anything can happen in football, and Pochettino knows that. Things change quickly, and no club can force a player — like Coutinho, like Gareth Bale, maybe like Harry Kane — to stay at a club against their will. If Spurs take a nose-dive in the coming years and/or if Pochettino leaves the club, things could change. As of now, there aren’t any indications that this is a concern.
Naturally, many facets of the English football media are focusing on the “You can’t force anyone to stay here” part, which feeds the narrative that Kane is a stupid-money bid away from flipping Tottenham the double-bird and saying “SEE YA SUCKERS.” That does a disservice both to the readers, and to Kane, who has never once given any indication that he is unhappy in north London.
You can’t take anything for granted. As fans we want to think that Harry Kane is going to stay at the club forever, and we all hope it’s the case, but we don’t know what the future holds. Pochettino understands that. All he can do is do the best job he can with the club, try to win things, and let the future happen when it happens.