Tottenham Hotspur must keep Harry Kane from the clutches of Manchester United if they want to stand any chance of building on their impressive campaign so far, according to former manager and player Glenn Hoddle. Kane was the highest scorer in the Premier League in 2015 calendar year and is perceived as the key to Spurs' chances of sustaining their impressive start to the season.
The 1-1 draw with Everton leaves Mauricio Pochettino's side six points adrift of leaders and North London rivals Arsenal with 20 games of the campaign gone. A combination of shrewd additions in the transfer window and the implementation of young English players has contributed to the success of the White Hart Lane club, who have gone 30 years without a genuine title challenge.
The Sun reported in October that United were plotting a move for Kane in the January window, with the newspaper indicating that Louis van Gaal would need to break the British transfer record – which currently stands at the £57.9m he paid to Real Madrid for Angel di Maria in 2014 – to sign the England international. But Hoddle has urged Tottenham to resist any interest.
"The last time Tottenham challenged for the title was my final season at the club [as a player] in 1986-87, when Clive Allen scored 33 league goals," Hoddle told the Daily Mail. "Now this team has a chance to be better and they must seize it. They need to exploit the fact that Chelsea and Manchester United are weak at the moment and that is why I believe the board need to grasp the moment as much as the players.
"Certainly, there can be no thoughts of letting a club like United buy Harry Kane in the summer — and I don't believe they would allow that. The days of players such as Teddy Sheringham, Dimitar Berbatov, Luka Modric and Gareth Bale departing have to be over. This is a magical time for the club, with a new stadium planned, and now is the moment to back the manager in the transfer market and invest.
"They should sign a striker in case Kane gets injured and bring in more players to capitalise on this unexpected turn of events. Mistakes have been made in the past. Letting Harry Redknapp go in 2012 was clearly the wrong move. Now the board have to get it right."
Pochettino has refused to publicly commit to building on his current squad, who have lost just two league games this season and have the best defensive record in the top flight. Tottenham have also had the luxury of being relatively injury free, but the Argentine boss says improvements could yet be made.
"I think we have a very strong squad," he said after the game at Goodison Park, according to Sky Sports. "In football you can always improve, but we are happy. The first half of the season was fantastic, we are fourth in the table so we don't need to moan. But in football things are always open so if you find the right player with the right profile, and this player can improve us, why not? But we are really happy."