Antonio Conte: Harry Kane can become one of the greatest strikers ‘in history’ if Tottenham’s heroism continues

Kane has been in sensational form since Conte joined the club in early November and has directly contributed to seven goals in his last five appearances as Spurs moved into the top four.

Conte was at Stamford Bridge to watch Karim Benzema’s sublime hat-trick against former Italian club Chelsea on Wednesday and was asked where he ranked 28-year-old Kane as one of the best centre-forwards in the world.

“He deserves an important position in the world of football,” said Conte. “I think Harry is also the right age to show that he can be one of the best, the best in the world but especially in history, right? I think he is already in 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 is a number nine but at the same time he can be a number 10 because of his quality. He is very good at making assists and to get the ball where he wants, we also try to exploit that aspect and give him the ball.

“Regarding our team, I try not to improve its quality but to be more efficient, to be in the box and a striker.

“I repeat that we are talking about a fantastic player, so it is very difficult to improve him but we are trying to work, to push him to have the highest ambition to become the best striker.”

Conte hosted Sergio Reguilon and Ryan Sessegnon in training on Thursday, with the pair in line to return to the squad against Aston Villa on Saturday.

Matt Doherty came on as the left winger in Sunday’s 5-1 win over Newcastle, finishing with a goal and an assist, and Conte said the Republic of Ireland international was an ‘example’ for the rest of his team.

“Matthew is the typical player who shows good improvement,” Conte said ahead of the trip to Villa Park. “At first he didn’t play much with me because at that time I think he didn’t deserve to play.

“But then he worked very hard. He’s a very good guy. In every training session you see the desire, the will to improve, the tactical and technical aspect. He has a great mentality. He is strong.

“A lot of times when players don’t play a lot, they mentally crumble. But he showed me that I was strong, that I stayed there. He showed me: ‘I can do whatever you want, I will improve and when I am ready I want to play”. He didn’t show me by speaking but with his attitude and his behavior and for that reason he plays, he deserves to play and he plays very well. He has great confidence and I’m very happy for him, because he’s a great example for other players. I want to win and I don’t care if I play against a player or another player, I decide the player when I see that player gives me a good attitude.

Spurs loanee Giovani Lo Celso was named man of the match as Villarreal beat Bayern Munich 1-0 in their Champions League quarter-final first leg on Wednesday night.

Conte revealed he was happy for the Argentina midfielder but said the club made the right decision to allow him to leave in January and suggested he was not suited for the Premier League.

“I’m really happy with his great performance,” Conte said. “He needed to play with consistency, with continuity. For that 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.

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“Going back there and showing he’s fit is good for everyone, especially because Tottenham paid a lot of money for him. I’m very happy because he’s playing in every game, he’s showing that he’s a good player but I never said he wasn’t a good player.

“I said that this league is a very difficult league because it is not enough to have great quality and it is important to play with great intensity and strength. But now he is playing with consistency and I am very happy for him. , also Gil, they are playing very well in Spain. Besides, the club made the right choice, yes.”

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