Harry Kane is a 'more clinical and natural finisher' than Wayne Rooney

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West Ham manager Sam Allardyce believes in-form Tottenham forward Harry Kane could prove to be an even better striker than Manchester United and England captain Wayne Rooney.

Kane, 21, is expected to earn his first senior England call-up when Roy Hodgson names his next squad for the matches against Lithuania and Italy in March after a superb run of goalscoring form for Spurs.

Kane has scored 23 goals in 35 matches for Tottenham this season, leading to widespread praise from fans and pundits alike. No other Premier League player has scored more goals in all competitions and Allardyce believes that certain aspects of the young striker’s game are even stronger than Rooney’s.

Allardyce hails Kane

“His [Kane’s] rise to prominence has been spectacular and it shows you that, in this game, you never can tell,” Allardyce wrote in his latest column for the London Evening Standard. “His previous education, though, when he went out on loan a number of times, has helped him no end and paid handsome dividends.

“The attention he is attracting can be a distraction but can be managed carefully and sensibly, by his family, the club and, particularly, his agent.

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“Full marks to him, though, and it’s great for England. He looks as though he might be an even more clinical and natural finisher than Wayne Rooney.”

Kane's rapid rise

Allardyce eludes to the fact that few expected Kane to take the Premier League by storm this season.

The England Under-21 international had never looked entirely convincing with any of his loan clubs - Leyton Orient, Millwall, Norwich City and Leicester City - and only managed to score four goals in 19 appearances for Spurs last season.

But under the current Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino, Kane has come on in leaps and bounds - and suddenly he looks the real deal.

Only Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Alexandre Lacazette and Neymar have scored more goals this season in top-flight European football, while it’s been reported that Real Madrid have scouted the player on three separate occasions this term.

Fortunately for Tottenham, however, Kane is a genuine Spurs fan and committed his future to White Hart Lane earlier this month by signing a new five-and-a-half-year contract.

Kane is brilliant - but has plenty to prove

But in order to prove he is an even more clinical and natural finisher than Rooney - the third-highest goalscorer in the histories of both Manchester United and the England national team - he must prove this season is not merely a one-off.

To reach the levels of Rooney, Kane must be scoring 20 goals - or close to that number - every season for a prolonged period of time.

Rooney, 29, has scored 225 goals for Manchester United - 166 of which have come in the Premier League.

United manager Louis van Gaal has used Rooney in a deeper midfield role over the past couple of months, limiting the United skipper’s chances to add to his goals tally. However, he was deployed upfront against Preston on Monday night and scored his first goal since December, from the penalty spot after he was awarded a controversial spot-kick.

Kane still has much to prove before he reaches Rooney’s level - but he’s certainly on the right tracks.

Is Kane a more clinical and natural finisher than Rooney? Which striker is better? Have your say in the comments below!

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Premier League
Wayne Rooney
Manchester United
Tottenham Hotspur

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