West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce believes in-form Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane...
West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce believes in-form Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane is a more clinical finisher than England captain Wayne Rooney as his side prepare to face the Spurs man in the Premier League on Sunday.
Allardyce’s eighth-placed side visit White Hart Lane for the London derby with their hosts in fine form having won three of their last four league games to move three points adrift of the top four in sixth.
Tottenham’s excellent run has coincided with the emergence of Englishman Kane, who has struck 23 goals in all competitions this season after breaking into the first team following four loan spells at lower league clubs.
Allardyce thinks the 21-year-old striker could be a more natural marksmen than Rooney, who is third in the Premier League’s all-time leading scorers’ list behind Alan Shearer and Andy Cole.
“His rise to prominence has been spectacular and it shows you that, in this game, you never can tell,” Allardyce wrote in the London Evening Standard on Friday.
“His previous education, though, when he went out on loan a number of times, has helped him no end and paid handsome dividends.
“The attention he is attracting can be a distraction but can be managed carefully and sensibly, by his family, the club and, particularly, his agent.
“Full marks to him, though, and it’s great for England. He looks as though he might be an even more clinical and natural finisher than Wayne Rooney.”
The West Ham boss said his team will pay special attention to Kane and is expecting the striker to be raring to go after starting on the bench for Tottenham’s 1-1 home draw with Fiorentina in the Europa League on Thursday.
Allardyce expects to have central defenders Winston Reid and James Collins available again as both have recovered from hamstring injuries.
Brazilian Nene, who signed on a free transfer on Wednesday as cover for injured striker Andy Carroll, will not be fit to make his debut.
“Nene isn’t ready physically yet. He’s just started training with us, it’ll be about 10 days maybe two weeks before he’s ready,” Allardyce told a news conference on Friday of the 33-year-old former Paris St Germain player.
“It’s great to have a player like Nene, with his CV, at the club. We’re all looking forward to seeing him play.” (Reporting by Sam Holden, editing by Ed Osmond)