England manager Gareth Southgate believes Tottenham Hotspur’s struggling striker Harry Kane can get back to his goal-scoring best now that Antonio Conte is in charge of the Premier League club.
Kane, last season’s Golden Boot winner with 23 goals and 14 assists, has scored only once in the league this season as Spurs struggled to attack under Nuno Espirito Santo.
Nuno was sacked and replaced by former Chelsea and Inter Milan boss Conte.
Southgate said Kane had a “complicated summer” after his bid to leave the club was denied but that the England captain now had an opportunity to put that behind him and start afresh under Conte.
“Now there’s a change of manager, I think there’s a fresh start for him. I think that will be a good stimulus. I’m sure the whole thing has been an experience that has been difficult,” Southgate told reporters.
“He’s ended up, understandably, with an adverse reaction from some of the fans there. He’s had to deal with a lot of unintentional consequences of the possible move in the summer.
“Antonio coming in is probably a good thing from Harry’s personal point of view. Knowing Antonio as I do, an outstanding coach and a very good man, I’m sure he’ll get a response and a reaction out of Harry very quickly.”
Southgate will also be keen to see how midfielder Dele Alli — who has not played for England in two years — flourishes under Conte after the Italian manager said he recognised his “great potential”.
“I remember very well when we played against Tottenham in the past, specifically one game when we lost after 13 wins in a row and Dele scored twice,” Conte said.
“But this is the past. Now there is a present… Physically he is strong and very good, for sure I give him the possibility to show he has talent.”