Mourinho influence on Kane given seal of approval by Rodgers amid criticism

Date published: Friday 18th December 2020 10:04

Jose Mourinho, Harry Kane Tottenham TEAMtalk

Brendan Rodgers believes Jose Mourinho has added another string to Harry Kane’s bow by playing the striker in a deeper role.

Some observers believe Kane’s scoring prowess has been diluted by dropping back, while Michael Owen recently suggested the England captain must find it “frustrating”.

Playing the country’s premier goalscorer as more of an attacking midfielder seems a bold move by Mourinho, but Leicester boss Rodgers insisted: “I don’t think it is.

“I think if you look through the game, you look at Roberto Firmino, he does a similar role for Liverpool. Lionel Messi did it for Barcelona. Other players have done it all through time.

“You’re not seeing something being taken away from Harry’s game. You’re seeing something that’s been added to his game.

“He’s clearly a wonderful goalscorer with great ability, finishing in and around 25 or 30 yards out.

“But what you’re now seeing also is the ability of a player to drop underneath, and make passes like a midfield player.

“So I don’t think anything has been taken away from his game. I think Jose has asked him to drop that little bit deeper and I think it’s his natural intelligence.

Harry Kane Tottenham TEAMtalk

“In Harry you can see he’s a wonderful player, he’s got a great football brain. You see him dropping underneath and having that ability to make those passes.

“So it’s an addition to how they play rather than something taken away from them.”

Rodgers can counter Kane’s threat on Sunday by welcoming back Jonny Evans – from suspension – and fit-again Timothy Castagne.

The Belgian full-back had been one of City’s most impressive performers until he suffered a hamstring injury two months ago.

Rodgers said: “He’s got great energy and can run in behind. He gives us a good profile in terms of defending set-pieces. He’ll be a huge plus.

“When he’s defending he really gets in contention with people. From a set-piece perspective, he’s a good size so he can defend the box well.

“On the attacking side, he’s so good at penetrating without the ball. He wants to get up there and score goals. It definitely improves our squad.”

 

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