Ledley King confident Tottenham can match Harry Kane’s ambition
Ledley King believes Tottenham can match Harry Kane’s ambition as the striker’s future remains in the balance.
Kane wants to leave this summer in order to win trophies but the club have no plans to sell him and Manchester City have previously indicated they are not prepared to offer the sort of money that could tempt Spurs to change their mind.
They remain interested and it is a saga that looks set to run the course of the transfer window – spiced up by City visiting Spurs on the opening weekend of the Premier League campaign.
Kane, who turned 28 this week, is still on holiday following his Euro 2020 exertions and will be keen to hear the club’s vision following the appointment of Nuno Espirito Santo this summer.
There is a big overhaul taking place as a stale squad is refreshed and Nuno’s remit will be to take the club back to the top table of English football, where they were previously under Mauricio Pochettino.
King was not drawn on Kane’s future, but insists Spurs are ambitious.
“We know he is one of the best strikers in the world. Harry is ambitious and I know the club is very ambitious,” he told the PA news agency at a McDonald’s Fun Football Festival in London.
“That is as far as it goes, I wouldn’t like to say what is going to happen next, all I know is the club is very ambitious and Harry is himself, so that’s it.”
Spurs’ chances of getting back into the top four could be enhanced by Dele Alli returning to the form that once lit up the Premier League.
The 25-year-old endured a tough campaign last time where he was frozen out by former boss Jose Mourinho and almost left the club in January.
King saw Alli at close hand as he was part of Mourinho’s backroom staff and revealed that the England international became frustrated at his situation and let it affect him.
“I think Dele will say at times, through the difficult moments he probably got frustrated and probably let that get to him,” he added.
“He has gone on record and say he wants to come back and do better this season and we have seen him come back with a steely focus and he is in great shape to have a really successful season.
“When a player does that he gives himself a great chance to get picked and Dele has gone away and come back really ready to give it his all.
“I don’t think it was his attitude. Dele is a player that plays with a certain style and I don’t think it was his attitude, but at times his form dipped and you could see he was frustrated and maybe not getting as many opportunities as he would like to.
“It was a tough situation for him, it was the first time he has ever experienced not playing and it is not easy. But he has gone away and realised there is more he can do and come back this season ready to do well again.
“Without doubt he is coming into his prime as a player and there is no doubting his quality, he has got a fantastic skill of scoring goals and timing his arrival in the box, this is something that is very difficult to coach, it is a gift that he has and it is important he continues to work and keep developing his game and I have got no doubt we will see the best of him.”
King stayed on as a first-team assistant when Mourinho left but returned to his job as a club ambassador following the appointment of Nuno.
He has ambitions to one day return to coaching, but must complete his coaching badges.
“The most important thing for me is to do my badges, because I haven’t done them,” he said.
“The way it happened for me to do the coaching was Jose telling me he wanted me to be around. If he asks then of course you are going to say yes.
“For me to give myself the best chance going forward, it’s important for me to take a step back and really get the knowledge, get the badges and come back when I am ready. That’s important for me to do.”
King was talking at a McDonald’s Fun Football programme, which is a joint initiative with the Football Association to give children aged 5-11 free access to football.
The former England international says the Three Lions’ exploits will be important for the future generations.
“The memories the young kids will have from the Euros, it will be a lasting memory,” he added. “I remember Italia 90 having a huge impact on me, for many young kids how well the England team done has swept through the nation, everyone forgot about the problems of the last 18 months or so and being in love with football.
“I have got no doubt that young kids will be dreaming of being the next Harry Kane or Raheem Sterling and just want the opportunity to get out and play, so this is great that we have the fun festivals so they can come out and play the game they love because for too long there wasn’t the opportunity to get out and do the thing they love.
“This is why it’s fantastic and it is in areas that are accessible for people to come out and it’s free.”
Ledley King was speaking at the McDonald’s Fun Football Festival on London’s Southbank. Fun Football Festivals are taking place across the UK this summer, find your nearest one at mcdonalds.co.uk/football.