Merson fears Kane’s numbers will tumble as Mourinho drives him away
Pundit Paul Merson says he worries for Harry Kane’s goal record and his long-term future at Tottenham with Jose Mourinho at the helm.
Kane, who suffered a hamstring injury on New Years’ Day, made a sluggish return to action on Friday night.
The England skipper struggled to affect proceedings as Manchester United fought back to claim a point in north London.
Indeed, the result did not change Spurs‘ uphill battle to qualify for Europe next season. And Kane has already admitted that he could look to move on if the club’s ambition did not match his own.
Speaking on Sky Sports’ Soccer Saturday, Merson admitted that he has long had doubts about Kane under Mourinho.
“When Jose took the job I worried for Harry Kane,” the pundit said. “He played under [Mauricio] Pochettino and Tottenham had a go wherever they went. There were goals, there were crosses, there were shots.
“He’s going to be playing up front on his own and it is going to be hard work. In the end he is trying to hit 60-yard passes just to get involved in the game and that’s not Harry Kane.
“He’s not fit, he’s definitely not fit, they played virtually with 10 men, I can’t remember how many times he touched the ball in the whole game.”
What’s more, Merson said Kane could seriously consider moving on if Mourinho ends up driving him away from north London.
“I think he’ll have a serious think at the end of the season, I really do,” he added.
“I don’t see him getting 25-30 goals a season the way Jose will want to play, and he [Mourinho] won’t want to play like it was when he first got in there, 4-2s and 5-3s, no way.
“He’ll like those games last night, the 1-1s.”
KANE OUT OF IT AS MOURINHO BLASTS VAR
Tottenham took the lead against United through Steven Bergwijn in the first half, the Dutchman beating David de Gea.
However, Paul Pogba came on and won the visitors a penalty, with Bruno Fernandes converting.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side thought they had a chance to win it, but they had a second penalty claim denied.
Mourinho claimed after the match that he thought the first penalty should also have been overturned.