Harry Kane may have had a few failed loan spells before becoming Tottenham's talisman but Brad Friedel claims the club's coaching staff always knew he could become the player he is today.
Friedel was at Spurs whilst Kane was coming up through the ranks as a youngster and he says that he spotted the striker's talent immediately.
Kane was a late bloomer in his career, netting only 14 goals in 67 appearances by the age of 21 before catching fire in his breakout season with Spurs when he scored 21 league goals in the 2014-15 campaign.
Since then, Kane has picked up two Premier League Golden Boots, as well as the Golden Boot at the 2018 World Cup with England and, despite the slow start to his career, Friedel always knew the 25-year-old would be something special.
“We absolutely knew how good Kane was going to be, and it was noted many times in our staff meeting and our meetings when I was starting my coaching at Tottenham," said Friedel, speaking exclusively to us-bookies.com
"As a player, each and every one of us knew that he was a truly special talent.
"He has proved that hard work does pay off, and he still works harder than everyone else out there, that’s why he is so good.
"On top of that, he obviously has the talent. He scored past me in training once or twice maybe, but they didn’t count as I was over 40!”
Kane and Friedel bonded at Spurs over American sports, with the England captain pictured celebrating with the New England Patriots after their Super Bowl win earlier this month.
Friedel, now head coach of the New England Revolution, added: "He has always been enamoured by US sports, from the time that I have known him, always very interested in US sports.
"He’s been injured so was able to take in the Super Bowl and when we went on pre-season tour, he threw the first pitch out at the Chicago Cubs games so he does like the American sports.
"He knew more about US sports than I did, I was out of the US for so long and I became engulfed in football over here and really fell out of tune with American sports.
"Obviously, since I’ve moved back I’ve been back in tune with it, and working with New England Patriots, obviously I know how good they are, but he definitely knows more about any American sports than I do.”
With Spurs enjoying one of their best Premier League seasons, the title may be just around the corner and Friedel thinks the race to be champions is too close to call.
“There are 13 games to play, who knows who is going to win the Premier League?" Friedel said.
"Tottenham, Liverpool, Man City are all such top teams. It’s going to be close to the finish, but I hope it’s between Liverpool and Tottenham, being two of my former clubs.
"I’d let them battle it out and I would be happy to see either of them win it.”
Friedel spent 18 years playing in England and stayed on at Spurs for a year in a coaching role but he is now back in the United States managing with the Revolution in MLS.
He is grateful for the opportunity Tottenham gave him and he is a great admirer of the job Mauricio Pochettino has been doing at his old club.
"I was very grateful to John McDermott at Tottenham’s academy for the help he gave me when starting out my coaching career there," said Friedel "In my last year, I was grateful for the help that Mauricio Pochettino and his team gave me.
"It was tremendous and just a really valuable experience. I still have a lot of friends and relationships there, and seeing them right up there whilst battling with the budgets they are on, it’s tremendous to see. Mauricio and his staff are truly one of the great teams."