Wayne Rooney has championed Harry Kane as the perfect No.9 despite rumors linking the England captain to Manchester United.
The 26-year-old has established a reputation as one world football’s most prolific goalscorers, having scored 181 goals in all competitions for Tottenham since making a spectacular first-team breakthrough six years ago.
Despite his astonishing personal achievements, Kane is yet to win silverware with his boyhood club and last month revealed he would not consider remaining at Spurs ‘for the sake of it’.
United maintains a long-standing interest in Kane but is likely to be put off by Daniel Levy’s £200million valuation. Nevertheless, Rooney insists he would build any team around his former international teammate and make him the fulcrum of his attack.
He told the Times: ‘In the last two seasons we’ve seen him drop deeper more and play balls in behind and he’s very good at it, as we saw when England beat Spain in Seville.
‘But if I were managing Harry, I’d be telling him to stay high as that No 9. His biggest strength is finishing and he strikes the ball so well that from 20 yards or closer he should be looking to hit it whenever possible.
‘Harry is a classic No 9, the closest I’ve seen to Ruud. If I were building a team, he’s the one I’d start with. Harry Kane: there’s my No 9. Then I’d build the rest around him.’
Kane has assumed Rooney’s mantle as England’s talisman at the international level and is already closing in on the current Derby County striker’s all-time Three Lions record.
‘I don’t think it will take long for Harry Kane to claim my England record and it would be a proud moment for me,’ added Rooney who scored 53 goals for his country.
‘I’ve never been a selfish player and it would be great for England for Harry to get there. Bobby Charlton had to wait 50 years — I hope it’s not so long for me.
‘The United record might last longer simply because players don’t stay at clubs as long as they used to. Mind you, if Messi or Ronaldo came to Old Trafford for a swansong they’d probably break it in three or four years.’