News Live Scores
Harry Kane

Mourinho sees Kane emulating Real Madrid star Benzema in 'nine-a-half' role at Tottenham

14:09 GMT 12/03/2021
Harry Kane Karim Benzema
The Spurs boss, who previously worked with the prolific French forward in Spain, sees a current charge playing on for many years to come

Harry Kane is maturing in a similar manner to Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema, says Jose Mourinho, with Tottenham’s talismanic frontman becoming more of a “nine-a-half” than a leading striker.

The England captain boasts the goal return to suggest that he remains one of the most fearsome finishers in the business, with 214 efforts recorded through 324 appearances for Spurs.

The 27-year-old has, however, started to drop a little deeper of late and his manager sees comparisons between that positional shift and one previously made by a French forward who hit 78 goals for him across three years together at Real Madrid.

What has been said?

Mourinho said of Kane heading into a north London derby date with Arsenal on Sunday: “At this moment, you see Harry, you see Benzema who is 33 now.

“They are very intelligent, they drop back, they assist so they can transform their game, and later in their career instead of becoming the number nine target, they become the nine-and-a-half between the nine and the 10, and [can] they have football until they want. But it is too early at 27 to think about that.

“I have been lucky enough to work with players with great ambitions and it is not possible to have a career like mine without players with ambition.

“He [Kane] has that, [I have] no doubt that of course he wants to win matches, win trophies, [he is] totally committed with the club and the national team.

“He is a very good example of a top professional and he is a great example for everybody.”

Kane’s record in 2020-21

Tottenham have once again looked towards a home-grown star for inspiration this season, with Kane’s absence hitting hard whenever he is laid low through injury or suspension.

He has continued to deliver in the final third, with the target found on 26 occasions through 37 appearances in all competitions – with a brace recorded on his most recent Europa League outing against Dinamo Zagreb.

How long can Kane go on for?

An eighth season as a regular at Spurs is being taken in by a man who has also hit 32 goals for his country.

He is showing no sign of slowing down and a step backwards from leading the line could see him extend a productive career through another decade.

Quizzed on whether Kane has 10 years left in him, Mourinho said: “You would have to ask him! It depends on what he wants to do.

“I think it is a little bit early to start thinking about that. I think he just enjoys his football and when a striker is just that kind of striker that can only play in that position, it is more difficult because when they lose that intensity of the younger people it is more difficult for them, because then they have nothing.

“But these players get better with time and with experience and understanding of the game.”

Further reading