Kane is developing like Real Madrid's Benzema: Mourinho

Kane is developing like Real Madrid's Benzema: Mourinho

Jose Mourinho has compared Harry Kane's development as a striker to Real Madrid's Karim Benzema, suggesting it may suit the forward to continue enhancing other aspects of his game besides goalscoring as he gets older.

Kane has been in scintillating form this term and is joint-second in the Premier League top scorers charts, alongside Manchester United's Bruno Fernandes, on 16 goals. The striker has added considerably more top-flight assists (13) to his game than in any other campaign in his career.

Mourinho is confident Kane will be fit for Sunday's north London derby, live on Sky Sports Premier League, after he was substituted due to a knock to his knee against Dinamo Zagreb in the Europa League on Thursday, following his two goals against the Croatian side.

Benzema scored 78 goals in 150 matches while Mourinho was in charge at Real Madrid from 2010-2013 and the pair won the La Liga title, the Spanish Super Cup, and the Copa del Rey together during the latter's time at the Bernabeu.

The centre-forward, 33, has enhanced his longevity over the past few seasons by developing his game to include more than just goalscoring, and Mourinho feels there are similarities in the attributes Kane is demonstrating at this point in his career when compared to the Frenchman.

"At this moment, you see Harry, you see Benzema who is 33 now," the Tottenham head coach explained. "They are very intelligent, they drop back, they assist so they can transform their game, and later in their career instead of becoming the No 9 target, they become the nine-and-a-half between the nine and the 10, and [can] they have football until they want. But it is too early at 27 [years old] to think about that.

"I have been lucky enough to work with players with great ambitions and it is not possible to have a career like mine without players with ambition.

"He [Kane] has that, [I have] no doubt that of course he wants to win matches, win trophies, [he is] totally committed with the club and the national team.

"He is a very good example of a top professional and he is a great example for everybody."

When asked if Kane could even prolong his career by another decade barring serious injuries, Mourinho said: "You would have to ask him! It depends on what he wants to do.

"I think it is a little bit early to start thinking about that. I think he just enjoys his football and when a striker is just that kind of striker that can only play in that position, it is more difficult because when they lose that intensity of the younger people it is more difficult for them, because then they have nothing.

"But these players get better with time and with experience and understanding of the game."

Jose: I want to respect Arsenal rivalry

Mourinho insists his Tottenham side are better than their Premier League position suggests ahead of Sunday's north London derby against Arsenal and has stated he has "total respect" for the two sides' rivalry.

Seventh-placed Tottenham has won their last five games in all competitions, with seven points separating them and Mikel Arteta's side who sit in 10th.

Tottenham are undefeated against their rivals in all competitions since 2018 and have finished above the Gunners in the top flight for the last four seasons, leading to suggestions the balance of power may have shifted in north London.

Heung-Min Son and Kane scored in the reverse fixture at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last December to send Mourinho's side to the top of the Premier League at the time.

Following his side's 2-0 home victory over Dinamo Zagreb in the first leg of the Europa League round-of-16 tie, Mourinho played down talk Tottenham have an edge ahead of the derby based on the pair's form over the last few seasons.

"I want to be respectful. I don't want to go in that direction, I am very proud to be at Tottenham and every day I have the feeling that I work at a big club," he said.

"But in spite of the rivalry between us and Arsenal, I want to be respectful. Arsenal are a big club with a big history and a little bit like us are trying to build a better future. I have total respect for them.

"Because we have seven points more than them, I look up but not down [the table].

"But at the same time, we look always to the next match and if instead of Arsenal we were playing Aston Villa or Newcastle for example, then we would approach it in exactly the same way.

"We feel we are better than the position we have on the table and we want to improve that position.

"The opponent doesn't matter if it is a north London derby, in fact it is the fourth that we have in a row in the Premier League, it is a Premier League match and three points are there to fight for and that is what we are trying to do."

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