It sounds absurd now but there was a fairly lengthy period of time when many football fans – Tottenham supporters included – weren’t convinced that Harry Kane possessed the tools required to become a Premier League striker.
The gangly centre-forward had failed to convince during loan spells at Leyton Orient, Millwall, Norwich City and Leicester City and had only managed to score four goals in 19 appearances for Spurs during the 2013-14 campaign.
Even after netting 31 goals in 51 matches the following season, many people were dismissing the Walthamstow-born striker as a one-season wonder.
Over the subsequent years, however, Kane has proved each and every one of his doubters wrong by scoring goal after goal after goal.
Kane now has 134 goals in 203 matches for Spurs – and 12 in 23 for England – and is arguably the best number nine on the planet right now.
If Spurs were to cash in on the 24-year-old, they would understandably expect to fetch a fee similar to the £200 million that Paris Saint-Germain paid Barcelona for Neymar last summer.
Kane’s attitude has helped him reach the top
Kane’s improvement can be put down, above anything else to one thing: his attitude.
The level-headed Englishman is an extremely driven professional who has worked tirelessly to maximise his potential.
Sandro reveals what Kane used to say to him in training
Kane’s former Tottenham teammate Sandro has given an interview to ESPN Brasil and revealed the striker, who wouldn’t have been older than 20 at the time, used to ask him to mark him in training because he knew the Brazilian always gave 100 per cent effort during training sessions.
“He used to call me to mark him in training because he knew I gave everything in all the works. ‘Come, Sandro, mark me I will come up against you!’” Sandro revealed, per Goal.
Most youngsters would have been desperate to avoid Sandro, who took no prisoners on the pitch, but Kane was clearly not your average young footballer.
“Kane, I define in one word: ‘Worker’,” Sandro continued. “All he does is a matter of training and confidence. Since when he was young me and [former Spurs goalkeeper Heurelho] Gomes spoke of him: ‘Damn, the kid is impossible, is training very well’”
Sandro: Spurs pleased used to tease Kane
Sandro did, however, admit that some of the Spurs players used to tease Kane due to his lack of game-time.
“Sometimes the other players would look at each other and make banter: ‘Look Harry Kane… poor guy, he thinks he’s going to play’. It was as if they wanted to say: ‘I’m going to play’ and he stays there just training,” the South American midfielder added.
“There was a year he had a little more time with us, training with Andre Villas-Boas.
“He was in the squad and he started to gain weight with the team, because he’s very polite and everyone loved him.
“But he was seen only as ‘an academy boy’, so they did not give him much weight. Today even I understand, because to play for Tottenham you have to be ‘flying’. He was new, so they thought he needed to pick up experience in other places, so he would come and go.
“But then he started doing some cup games, like the Europa League, FA Cup, and he scored a few goals here and there, and I thought: ‘Cool, look at Kane scoring a goal’. He started to get more and more strength inside the group, and it was clear that the time was coming for him to explode.”
Sandro is delighted that Kane has managed to silence his critics in the best possible way.
“I’m very happy for everything that happened to him, because he’s a very humble and hard-working guy,” he added, “he deserves to be at that level, because the status he reached was not something overnight.
“He came evolving each season and now he’s on top of the world.”