By Jonathan Veal, PA
Tottenham boss Antonio Conte has backed Harry Kane to become one of the best strikers in history.
The England captain has reached new heights in the last two years, continuing to be prolific in front of goal while also becoming the team’s best playmaker when dropping into a number 10 role.
He is on the brink of becoming his country’s all-time leading goalscorer, a record he is also close to breaking at Spurs, while he has targeted breaking Alan Shearer’s all-time tally in the Premier League.
💫 Some things never change. pic.twitter.com/NPhGwJot0L
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) April 7, 2022
Conte already rates him as world class but think he can go on and have a lasting legacy.
“I think he deserves an important position in the world of football,” Conte said ahead of Saturday’s visit to Aston Villa.
“I think Harry also he has the right age to show that he can be one of the best, best in the world but especially in history no?
“I think he’s already in the history because he scored a lot of goals for the club and scored a lot of goals for the national team. He’s the captain.
“He has the right age to consolidate and be one of the best in the world. His role, he’s a number nine but at the same time he can be a number 10 because of his quality.
“He’s very good to make assists and to put the ball where he wants. We try also to exploit this aspect and give the ball to him.
“About our team, I’m trying to improve not his quality but to be more effective, to be in the box and a striker.
“I repeat we’re talking about a fantastic player, so it’s very difficult to improve him but we’re trying to work, to push him to have the top ambition to become the best striker.”
One player who is performing better away from Spurs is Giovani Lo Celso, who has impressed since joining Villarreal on loan in January.
The Argentina international was named man of the match as the Spanish side beat Bayern Munich in the Champions League on Wednesday.
Conte has been impressed by Lo Celso’s form, but still has reservations about his suitability for the Premier League.
“First of all I’m really happy for his great performance,” Conte said. “He needed to play with regularity, with the continuity. For this reason he went to Spain in a league he knows very well because he played very well and Tottenham bought him when he played in that league.
“To go back there and show he’s in good form is good for everybody, especially because Tottenham paid a lot of money for him.
“I am very happy because he is playing every game, he’s showing he’s a good player but I never said he’s not a good player.
“I said this league is a very difficult league because it is not enough to have great quality and it’s important to play with great intensity and strength.
“But now he is playing with regularity and I am very happy for him, also (Bryan) Gil, they are playing very well in Spain. Also the club did the right choice, yes.”
Midfielder Oliver Skipp has suffered a setback in his recovery from a troublesome groin injury, but Conte is not prepared to write his season off.
“Absolutely not, we have to recover him for this season. Full stop,” he said when asked whether he might rest until the summer.
“This must be our target, for the medical department, for the player. It’s totally different from (Japhet) Tanganga’s situation.
“Japh had a knee injury and was out for the season. But Skipp, no. It’s important for the player to feel this possibility and there is this possibility to recover this season. Also we need him and we trust him – he’s a really good guy.
“I’m really sorry for him because he doesn’t deserve this type of injury. But I repeat he has to recover this season and I push the medical department to recover him this season because we need him.”
Sergio Reguilon has recovered from a knock and will return at Villa, while Ryan Sessegnon has returned to training after a hamstring injury but the trip to Villa Park will probably come too soon.