Three thoughts on how Tottenham can cope without Harry Kane

Harry Kane

Tottenham have been dealt a major blow after boss Mauricio Pochettino confirmed that Harry Kane will miss Saturday’s match against Manchester United at the Old Trafford with a minor hamstring strain.

Kane, the reigning Premier League top scorer with eight goals, will be assessed ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League clash against Real Madrid but it is understood that the England international is also doubtful for Real’s visit to Wembley.

Kane sustained the injury in the 4-1 win over Liverpool last weekend and appears to have come at the worst possible time for Tottenham, who are level on point with second-place Manchester United and with Real at the top of their Champions League group. However, it is not all done and dusted. Football Weeks has highlighted three thoughts why despite Harry Kane absence, Spurs can still earn all the three points at Old Trafford on Saturday.

1. Alli and Son are coming into form

Kane was not Spurs only player to finish the Premier League last season with more than 20 goals. Dele Alli and Son Heung-Min passed that milestone too and after slow performances to the campaign, they have returned to form.

Son, who more often take the place of Kane when the Englishman was absent last season, scored a brilliant first-time goal against Liverpool last weekend before adding two assists in Wednesday’s 3-2 defeat to West Ham United.

Dele Alli also started slowly but is back in form and scored against both the Reds and the Hammers. There is never a good time to lose Kane, as Pochettino pointed out, but the Argentinian boss can still call on these two fine goal-scorers.

2. They have Fernando Llorente

And then there’s Fernando Llorente, the £14 million deadline day signing from Swansea, who will have no doubt if he is asked to lead the attack at Old Trafford. Llorente has won every major prize international football can offer and the Spaniard was signed to give Tottenham extra bonus and know-how for the biggest games.

After missing pre-season with a broken arm, the Spaniard made a slow start to life at Tottenham but he spent the international break undergoing his own mini-preseason and he looked sharp in the draw at Real Madrid and Wednesday’s defeat to West Ham United. If Llorente will be replacing Kane as the lone striker, Tottenham will lose energy but he gives them the option to play more direct. Having the 32-year-old in Pochettino’s side lineup may give Tottenham that extra balance they have missed in two consecutive 1-0 defeats at Old Trafford.

3. Their record without Kane is good

Tottenham have been unbeaten in the Premier League in three years when Kane has not played for them and did not lose in eight league games last season without the England scorer, finding the net 13 times in five matches across all competition when Kane was ruled out with the second of two ankle ligament strains.

Pep Guardiola may have described Tottenham as “The Harry Kane team” but the Spaniard was quick to forget his brilliant start to the English football was ended by a Tottenham side who were without their Kane.

The north London club have already proved they are even better at coping without key players this year. Take Mousa Dembele, for example. At the start of last season, Pochettino said his side “did not exist” without the Belgian international but they have not missed him in the last month, even though Victor Wanyama has been ruled out. Harry Winks, Moussa Sissoko & Co. have stepped up and there is no reason Tottenham cannot do the same without Kane at Old Trafford and, if he is still unfit, against Real Madrid next week.

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Bertrand Francois is the editor of Football Weeks. An experienced online and print journalist, Jamie has worked for IRAIW, Arsenal Presser, Soccerlens and countless other media sources over the years. He is from Republic Du Benin and lives in the busiest town Cotonou. – Facebook and Twitter