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28 November 2023

League Cup final: Tottenham's Kane has two big fans in Chelsea's defence

Harry Kane celebrates after scoring for Tottenham (Reuters)

By Reuters

Chelsea's John Terry and Gary Cahill will be determined to keep Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane quiet in Sunday's League Cup final but have already seen enough of the young striker to back him for an England call-up.

The central defensive duo got a close view of 21-year-old Kane's qualities when he scored twice in Tottenham's surprise 5-3 Premier League win at White Hart Lane on New Year's Day.

Kane also scored two goals against Arsenal and grabbed a last-gasp equaliser versus another London side West Ham United last week to maintain his team's pursuit of a top-four finish and take his goal tally this season to 24 in all competitions.

Such is the local lad's form since breaking into the first team that he is now Tottenham's leading striker, ahead of Spain's Roberto Soldado and Togo's Emmanuel Adebayor.

"He is a very good player, his movement is fantastic and he is in great goalscoring form," Chelsea skipper Terry told reporters in the build-up to the Wembley final - a repeat of the 2008 clash which Tottenham won 2-1 after extra time.

"He has got to be able to do that year after year, and for England I hope he does," added former England defender Terry.

"It's great to see young players coming through and getting their opportunities and staying in the squad so if he keeps scoring there's no reason why he can't stay in.

"But there's still a long way to go."

England place

Cahill said Kane has deservedly pushed his name into the frame for an England call-up when Roy Hodgson picks his squad for next month's Euro 2016 qualifier at home to Lithuania and friendly away to Italy.

"This season he has been terrific and obviously he's pushing for an England place now," said the England centre back.

"He's been very good and he's been consistent this season. I'm sure he's looking to do that consistently over the next few years. I thought in (the 5-3 league defeat) he played really well as did a lot of their players."

While his goals have been impressive, Kane's attitude has made him a dream to play alongside, according to his Tottenham team mate Christian Eriksen.

"Harry is a worker as well and that's what people like and what he does, he works for the team, he's not a striker who just waits for the ball," said the Dane this week.

"He wants it and sometimes he comes and takes it."

Eriksen said Kane's rapid emergence from reserve team player with the occasional Europa League outing to the joint-leading English goalscorer in the Premier League has been remarkable.

"What Harry's doing is impressive and I think everyone is going on the wave that he is creating," he said. "It's the first time I've seen a player come through that quick."