Tottenham Hotspur cannot afford to rest Harry Kane as they risk missing out on a top-four finish, former striker Robbie Keane told The Daily Star.
After throwing away a 1-0 lead at the San Siro to lose 2-1 to Inter Milan on Tuesday evening, Mauricio Pochettino’s side have now suffered three consecutive defeats in all competitions after previously losing in the Premier League to Watford and Liverpool.
That has raised the pressure on the side ahead of Saturday’s clash with Brighton and a debate has also been sparked around Harry Kane, who was misfiring against Inter after previously struggling to shine during the defeat to Liverpool.
Many are calling for the England captain to be rested in the coming weeks but former Spurs striker Robbie Keane believes the Lilywhites risk missing out on a top-four finish if they do so, telling The Daily Star the North London side cannot afford to rest their star striker.
“Knowing Harry the way I do – he used to clean my boots when I was there – he just wants to play football and score goals. But he is in a different situation to when I played, because they don’t have four strikers like we did.
“They have him and Fernando Llorente. No disrespect to Llorente, because he’s a good target man who will do a job for the team, but he’s not going to score 20 or 25 goals a season.
“So if Tottenham leave Harry out, because he’s tired, then they’re making a statement that they don’t want to finish in the top four. It’s just not going to happen if you leave him out for a few games, because of the goals that he brings, so it’s unrealistic to rest him.
“At the same time, it’ll annoy Harry, all this talk about him being tired. If he scores a couple of goals this weekend, though, people will forget about it.”
The biggest worry for Pochettino right now is his side’s loss of a form and, after three consecutive defeats, he is under pressure to end the poor run this weekend – and dropping Kane for the clash with Brighton is unlikely as a result.
However, while Keane is correct with his assessment that Spurs cannot afford to be without Kane, this should actually encourage Pochettino to make a change as the Lilywhites will be in real trouble if he picks up an injury.
Looking at Kane, it is clear he is not at his best at the moment and a rest in the coming weeks, where Spurs play Brighton and Huddersfield either side of a Carabao Cup clash with Watford, needs to be handed to him.