TIM SHERWOOD: Tottenham wanted me to get rid of Harry Kane!


TIM SHERWOOD: Tottenham wanted me to GET RID of Harry Kane! AVB and Franco Baldini wrote him off – as did every manager who took him on loan – but his biggest attribute was always between his ears

Every kid at every club needs someone to back him and I take huge pride in seeing Harry Kane equal Jimmy Greaves’ record for Tottenham, having given him his opportunity all those years ago. 

You get these trophy managers going into clubs with their heads on the block and the perception is kids will let you down. I’ve always maintained that is a misconception.

A £100million signing will let you down, too. If the kid is doing the right things in training, back him. That’s what happened with Harry. 

Harry Kane’s goal against Fulham meant the striker equalled Jimmy Greaves’s scoring record

Tim Sherwood was named Tottenham manager in 2013 and handed the England star his debut

Tim Sherwood was named Tottenham manager in 2013 and handed the England star his debut

He was outperforming Roberto Soldado and Emmanuel Adebayor. He deserved the opportunity and after making his first Premier League start in April 2014 – a 5-1 win over Sunderland in which he scored – he never looked back.

I hate ‘natural talent’. There’s no such thing as a ‘natural’ footballer. It takes hard work, and no one typifies that more than this boy. Harry worked hard. He still works hard. Having Christian Eriksen as a team-mate helped in those early days. 

Christian showed Harry how to get the best out of what you’ve got and the way to improve. There’s never been a ceiling with Harry. Never a time where he’s thought: ‘I’ve cracked it.’ I always said Harry’s biggest attribute is between his ears. I would take his drive and determination over ability all day long. When you can marry up the two, like he has done, then you’ve got a serious footballer.

Every manager that took Harry on loan said he wouldn’t make it. There wasn’t one who said he would. If they tell you different, they’re lying. I’m not knocking that. It was their opinion at the time. 

The likes of Andre Villas-Boas (pictured left with Gareth Bale) didn't trust Kane at Tottenham

The likes of Andre Villas-Boas (pictured left with Gareth Bale) didn’t trust Kane at Tottenham

Tim Sherwood gave Kane his opportunity in the team and the striker has never looked back

Tim Sherwood gave Kane his opportunity in the team and the striker has never looked back

But I never judged Harry when he was away from Tottenham. I thought it was the best for his development – to play competitive football. I’d go watch him. At Millwall in 2012, there was an intense atmosphere. But that was exactly what he needed. For him to keep putting that shirt on when he hadn’t scored, only to end up being named Millwall’s Young Player of the Year, showed the character of the boy.

When Harry came back to Tottenham after a series of loans, I advised him not to accept any more offers and to stick around and fight for his place. The manager previous to me, Andre Villas-Boas, had no intention of putting him in. 

Franco Baldini was sporting director and he wrote off Harry, saying he wasn’t good enough for the Premier League. Tottenham wanted me to get rid of him. 

Sherwood hopes he'll stay around long enough to break Alan Shearer's Premier League record

Sherwood hopes he’ll stay around long enough to break Alan Shearer’s Premier League record

There were clubs who wanted Harry. But I wouldn’t do that. I wasn’t listening. I was saying: ‘The boy is good enough.’ I was told I was ‘biased’ towards the younger players. I wasn’t. I just wanted to win and Harry was best equipped to do that for me.

He started the last six games of the 2013-14 Premier League season. The fans were tough with him at first. If he hadn’t scored, they’d be singing for Soldado. Now they sing about him being one of their own. It isn’t easy for homegrown boys. You have to fight hard to be accepted. 

Sometimes it seems like fans want to accept the footballer whose surname ends in ‘i’ or ‘o’ – it’s sexier than someone coming in from the academy. But in the end, these boys care more. Cut Harry in half and he bleeds the white of Tottenham. He earned the fans’ love in the end and he loves them back.

I spoke to Harry on Monday night after his winner at Fulham. I asked him if he’s going to be sticking around in the Premier League to target Alan Shearer’s record next. He told me it was a ‘loaded question’ but did add he’s enjoying himself. We want to see the best of the best in the Premier League so I hope Harry stays put to take over Alan’s record.



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