Harry Kane ended the season on a high, like the whole Tottenham squad, as Antonio Conte led his side to a top-four finish. This means Spurs will make a return to the Champions League next season and that has encouraged both the 52-year-old and the England captain to remain in N17.
Conte wants at least six new signings this summer and the list of potential targets for Spurs is already growing. Fraser Forster had his medical at Hotspur Way last week and Ivan Perisic’s move looks to be getting closer, as his medical is set to take place on Monday.
These two signings will help Tottenham’s transfer business get off to a good start, but Fabio Paratici will have a lot more work to do. Spurs need upgrades in various positions, as well and improving the quality in the depth of their squad, especially with the five substitution rule that will come in next season.
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Before his arrival, Conte gave his verdict on Kane and the position he would play the 28-year-old in. “Many praise Harry Kane for his ability to go get the ball and play with the team, such as with the equalizer against Denmark,” the Italian admitted.
“Of course, he’s good at that too, but it’s in the box where he’s clinical and as a coach, I would always keep him in there because he’s devastating.”
Last season the England captain found himself dropping into deeper positions and creating more than usual, registering nine Premier League assists. This allowed the likes of Son Heung-min to get forward and slot the ball into the back of the net, with the South Korean sharing the Golden Boot award with Mohamed Salah.
Earlier this year Conte reiterated his positional comment and explained what he would like at Tottenham. “Harry, he was born a striker but he has the talent and quality to play like a number 10 with another striker in front of him,” he said.
“But I like to have him as a striker and then eventually another number 10. Two different players with different characteristics.
“Honestly I prefer Harry as a number nine, because when he stays into the box or the edge of the box he has great quality, right, left, also with a header, he has great potential,” Conte added. The 52-year-old did say his side need to be “unpredictable” in the way they play and this is another reason incomings are so vital this summer, to improve squad depth and allow for rotation.
Another reason Kane may have dropped into deeper positions last season is because of the need for another creative midfielder at Tottenham. Rodrigo Bentancur and Pierre Emile Hojbjerg created a solid midfield partnership in the second half of the season, but Spurs could still do with another player who has that attacking drive.
This is something former Lilywhites player Alan Hutton explained last month, reiterating that a creative midfielder could help get even more out of Kane. “They’ve really struggled in that department for a while, if I’m totally honest,” he told Football Insider.
“I would like to see them with someone within that midfield that’s exciting. Someone that can get on the ball, make things happen and leave Kane up the pitch.
“It gives the center-halves something to think about. He’s not dropping deep. If I’m playing center-half and Harry Kane drops to the halfway line, brilliant. Let him go down there, away from the goal, “Hutton added.
Christian Eriksen is one creative midfielder who has already been linked with his former club this summer, with Dane’s contract expiring at Brentford. The 30-year-old has previously shown his quality, when playing for Tottenham and reiterated the threat he can cause opposing sides during his time with The Bees.
If Spurs can sign a player like Eriksen or another attacking midfielder, they could add extra quality to Conte’s side and allow Kane to stay further up the pitch. I’m sure many Tottenham fans would not complain if the 28-year-old still found himself in these deeper positions but was contributing to goals.
However, if the Italian wants his striker to remain further up the pitch, he will need reinforcements to allow him to do so.