Jermaine Jenas has admitted that he didn’t expect Harry Kane to become the superstar that he is today.
The presenter and pundit, who enjoyed a Premier League career with clubs including Newcastle, Tottenham and Aston Villa, was playing in north London when Kane made the step up to first team level.
A fresh-faced teenager who would endure loans spells aplenty, few would have predicted that Kane would go on to become one of the top strikers in world football.
As well as becoming Tottenham’s all-time top goalscorer, the 30-year-old is now playing for Bayern Munich where he has racked up an incredible 21 goals in 16 matches.
But according to Jenas, the level of Kane’s performances were not something that he saw coming.
Speaking on talkSPORT Drive with Andy Goldstein, Jenas said: “If you watched Harry when he was at Spurs, playing under Mourinho and playing under Conte, they played very deep as a team.
“So they would suck teams onto them and Harry would drop into the little pockets of space, which as a kid, is how he used to play when he’d come and train with us in the first team.
“Everybody thought he was going to be like Teddy Sheringham and then Mauricio (Pochettino) turned him into more of an athlete and he would run in behind.
Asked if he knew Kane would become a superstar, Jenas said: “No, but this is part of Harry’s brilliance.
“He’s diligent, he works harder than the next and he’s driven by everybody who has told him he’s not good enough, essentially.
“That’s what he had for the early parts of his career and every now and then you’d see that he was working harder or working on his finishing and spending time speaking to Robbie Keane and Jermaine Defoe and getting information and putting into practice.
“Then it was like, right, he’s now got the make-up to do what he needs to do but from an athletic point of view he wasn’t as quick as he needed to be and wasn’t as strong or sharp as he needed to be, he just had a hunger to score goals.
“The rest was put together by Tim Sherwood, who played a massive part in his early development and then Mauricio probably took that on to another level.”