Harry Kane
Harry Kane captained Tottenham for the very first time during the 0-0 draw with Burnley at Turf MoorGetty Images

Mauricio Pochettino believes that Tottenham striker Harry Kane deserves to win the PFA Player of the Year award ahead of Eden Hazard because his performance this season has inspired young English players to take that extra step and strive harder to reach their potential.

The 21-year-old was a virtual nobody at the club when Pochettino arrived but with sheer persistence and industry, he won over the manager and fans and has been the standout player by far this season for the north London club.

The striker has scored 29 goals thus far in all competitions and will be the first England striker after a long time to hit the coveted 30 mark, having previously been scaled by the likes of Luis Suarez and Robin van Persie over the past couple of seasons.

Pochettino believes that Hazard was always known as a world class player but Kane's emergence inspires a whole nation, which holds more value than what Hazard did to inspire Chelsea's title charge.

There are four other nominees for the coveted title, which was won by Tottenham's Gareth Bale in 2013, including Alexis Sanchez, David de Gea, Diego Costa and Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho.

Kane has the opportunity to score his 30th goal against Newcastle on 19 April and thereby keep his team's hopes alive of finishing in the top four.

"I think that Hazard is a very good player, he's fantastic, a great player. But the impact that Harry has had on English football is massive. Maybe the impact is bigger than Hazard and his performances," Pochettino said.

"Everyone knew that Hazard is a brilliant player. But I think not too many people expected that Harry Kane would show the performances that he has this season. This is the difference I believe," he added.

Kane has also been nominated for the PFA young Player of the Year award, where he is the prime contender for the title.