West Ham manager Sam Allardyce has expressed his belief that Tottenham's Harry Kane could be a better finisher than Manchester United and England captain Wayne Rooney.
Kane, 21, has been a revelation at White Hart Lane so far this season, demonstrating his scoring prowess and staking a claim for international recognition with 21 goals in all competitions to date.
Allardyce will have his work cut out attempting to negate the threat posed by the in-form striker when his side make the trip to North London this weekend. S
Speaking ahead of Sunday's Premier League clash, the former Bolton and Blackburn boss was very generous in his praise of Kane and added to the growing weight of expectation surrounding the player by comparing him with one of English football's most enduring talents.
"We face another tough ask on Sunday against an in-form Tottenham when, once again, a lot of the attention will inevitably fall upon Harry Kane," Allardyce wrote in his most recent column for the London Evening Standard.
"His rise to prominence has been spectacular and it shows you that, in this game, you never can tell. His previous education, though, when he went out on loan a number of times, has helped him no end and paid handsome dividends. The attention he is attracting can be a distraction but can be managed carefully and sensibly, by his family, the club and, particularly, his agent.
"Full marks to him, though, and it's great for England. He looks as though he might be an even more clinical and natural finisher than Wayne Rooney."
Despite being left on the bench for Tottenham's Europa League round of 32 first-leg match against Fiorentina on Thursday, Kane's stock is currently at an all-time high and it would be a shock if he were not included alongside Rooney in Roy Hodgson's senior England squad for fixtures against Lithuania and Italy in late March.
Kane and Tottenham head into their showdown with rivals West Ham largely in good spirits. Despite the disappointment of conceding a late equaliser on Thursday and a narrow defeat to Liverpool in their last Premier League outing, Mauricio Pochettino's side have been in good form recently and could win their first major trophy since 2008 when they contest the Capital One Cup final against Chelsea at Wembley next month.
West Ham, by contrast, have been out of sorts and speculation surrounding Allardyce's future will have done nothing to ease the tension at Upton Park.
Although he was responsible for restoring the club's top-flight status in his first full campaign in charge and has kept them in the top half of the table this year, there has always been a disconnect between the manager and supporters with feelings running high during the 4-0 FA Cup defeat to West Brom.
Allardyce's contract expires at the end of 2014-15 season and, with no talks over a renewal believed to be imminent, speculation suggests that he could depart as West Ham plan for the future.