Pochettino concerned burnout will hamper Harry Kane progress
Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino, a 13/2 chance with Coral to steer Spurs to a top four finish this term, is planning talks with the FA over star striker Harry Kane.
England Under-21 international Kane is Tottenham’s top scorer with 24 goals across all competitions this term, but his club boss is concerned about his prized asset suffering from burnout.
Widely tipped for a call-up to the senior Three Lions set-up this month, Kane’s partnership at youth level with Saido Berahino fired Gareth Southgate’s Under-21s to the European Championship finals (in their age bracket) in the Czech Republic.
Southgate is expected to name a strong squad for this tournament, especially after England manager Roy Hodgson said he was keen on letting those senior squad members that are eligible to drop down to Under-21 level to get further experience under their belts.
“Maybe I would prefer that Harry has a month’s holiday after the season to rest and recover his body and mind,” Pochettino said of Kane, and an anticipated squad spot with the Young Lions this summer. “We need to arrive at a deal with the player and the FA.
“This is my opinion, but I realise we need to support the national team and to take the best decision for us all. This is our concern – he is our player. The FA need the player to play, but at the same time they are concerned about the development of their own young talent.”
Stuart Pearce, Southgate’s predecessor as Under-21 boss, picked a roster for the last youth European Championship, held in Israel in 2013, without Phil Jones, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jack Rodwell, Kyle Walker, Danny Welbeck or Jack Wilshere on it.
With these key names unavailable, either through injury or as they had senior squad places when England played Brazil in the Maracana, the Young Lions bowed out in the group stage.
In the Czech Republic, the likes of reigning Under-21 champions Spain, the Netherlands and France, who all produce prodigious young talents, have missed out on qualification for the finals.
This tournament may be England’s best chance of winning something, and could spur on the likes of Kane, Danny Ings and Berahino, who are all Premier League regulars at their respective clubs, on to seize senior squad chances in the future.
Kane, who has 14 top-flight goals to his name so far this term, is 7/1 third-favourite to be Premier League leading marksman come the end of this season.