Tottenham striker Harry Kane played like a vintage Mark Hughes as Spurs eased to Premier League victory over Leeds United, according to two pundits.
Kane initially made his name with Tottenham in the Premier League as a deadly finisher with an eye for goal. While he still has those attributes in abundance, he has added another exciting asset to his game of late.
Indeed, he now often drops deep and looks for the run of strike partner Son Heung-min. The pair have worked together at Tottenham for some time, but Kane has only adapted fully to that role in the last two seasons.
In fact, the pair combined for a 37th time in the Premier League against Leeds on Saturday. That made them the top flight’s most prolific goalscoring pair ahead of former Chelsea duo Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba.
Speaking on BT Sport‘s coverage of Tottenham’s 4-0 win over the Whites, Rio Ferdinand and Peter Crouch drooled over England captain Kane’s display at Elland Road.
“We were sitting here, me and Peter, going ‘play it, play it’. Not often do you say it and the execution is as exquisite as that,” Ferdinand said.
Crouch added: “There’s lots of factors isn’t there… there’s having the vision, but then the execution of the pass. Some of his passing today was, Rio said it, an absolute clinic.
“Son as well, absolutely devastating. Once he’s running in behind, you just know. He takes it on his thigh and a beautiful finish.”
Pep rules Man City out of Harry Kane race this summer
Pep Guardiola rules Man City out of Harry Kane race this summer
Ferdinand remarked that there are not “many more partnerships you enjoy watching when they’re on song”. He said Kane is a “joy to watch” because of his ability to pass from “all different distances”.
In fact, he compared the England star to former Manchester United man Mark Hughes.
“The movement of Son. When he gets in, Son, he [Kane] pinned the defender once in the first or the second half. It was like Mark Hughes rolling back the years,” Ferdinand said.
“[He] backed in, bang, he’s [Son’s] gone. It was brilliant to watch.”
Crouch added: “We were talking about how devastating Kane is from deep. When Son’s the highest up, when he’s got his back to goal he’s like Mark Hughes. He’s just taking it on his thigh, he’s sweeping it out wide, his hold-up play was fantastic, he was shifting defenders and he can run in behind as well.”
Kane recovers from criticism
Kane started the season in poor form following his failure to leave Tottenham for Manchester City in a mega summer transfer.
Indeed, the 28-year-old only scored once in the first 14 Premier League matches of the campaign.
However, since Antonio Conte replaced Nuno Espirito Santo as manager, the Italian has got the best out of Kane.
He has netted seven goals in the last 11 league matches, notching two assists and a host of key passes along the way.
Crouch concluded: “He’s had his criticisms at the start of the season, deservedly so.
“He wasn’t at it for whatever reason, but this second half of the season, certainly the City game and today’s game as well, absolutely incredible.”
Tottenham return to action on Tuesday when facing Middlesbrough in the fifth round of the FA Cup.