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Spurs’ Harry Kane shows he could be very effective in a different striking role

This article is part of Football FanCast’s In Numbers series, which takes a statistical look at performances, season-long form and reported transfer targets… 

Harry Kane led by example for England against Bulgaria, both on and off the field, and his performance will offer a lot of encouragement for Mauricio Pochettino.

It could actually do more than that, as the style in which he played may lead the Argentine to utilise him in a slightly different role, one that will allow him to provide as much as he scores.

That is what made him so effective in Sofia, with the England captain at times unplayable, providing the perfect foil for players such as Raheem Sterling, Marcus Rashford and Ross Barkley, and there’s no reason why he couldn’t do the same for Spurs.

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The pace of England’s forwards allowed them to get in behind the defence, with Kane often coming deep and acting as the playmaker, and with Son Heung-min and Lucas Moura available for selection, it could be an avenue of success for Pochettino.

As well as his customary one goal, Kane pulled the strings in and around the final third.

He played in a similar fashion in Prague on Friday with a 100% success rate from the two long balls he attempted, as well as creating one big chance. On Monday, though, he raised his game to a new level.

It was the perfect performance for the lone striker role, as his 10/10 rating from SofaScore suggests, shielding the ball to great effect when necessary but also bringing his teammates into play and creating chances for them.

Kane is known for being a goalscorer, but he made three assists against Bulgaria, and could have had two more due to the fact he created five big chances in total.

If he replicates that type of display for his club side, Spurs’ attacking potency should increase, and goals should follow – if Son’s track record is anything to go by.

The fact the 26-year-old only lost possession on seven occasions is another huge positive.

It will not only build the trust Pochettino has in him to operate slightly deeper, but also his faith in granting the wide players freedom to make runs and get up the pitch, stretching the opposition in a manner which Spurs have failed to do too often, with the home defeat against Newcastle an example of that.

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That is because the striker has shown he can look after the ball, which is crucial for Pochettino’s style of retaining possession, and if he becomes a creator for the Argentine over the next few weeks he could prove that he will make up for the loss of Christian Eriksen, who looks destined to leave at some point.

Another advantage is that it could see Spurs adopt more of a counter-attacking style, allowing for a defensive-minded midfielder to replace a playmaker in the middle, and that could lead to success against the top-six away from home, having won just three of their last 16 games in that department.

Article title: Spurs’ Harry Kane shows he could be very effective in a different striking role

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