Gary Neville has pinpointed Tottenham talisman Harry Kane as the one Premier League player that Manchester United would ‘love’ to have amongst their ranks.
Kane has endured a difficult season following his exploits for England at Euro 2020, but the 28-year-old has done enough in recent weeks to hint that he’s on the verge of hitting top form again.
That has coincided with the arrival of Antonio Conte – although it remains to be seen if the Italian’s presence alone is enough to convince Kane his long-term future lies at Tottenham.
Kane was desperate to quit the club last summer to join Manchester City in a bid to win titles.
However, the move failed to materialise after City saw a number of bids rebuffed by Spurs supremo Daniel Levy.
And City’s failure to get a deal done for Kane came back to haunt them on Saturday night as he was their tormentor-in-chief, with the Spurs man inspiring the Londoners to a last-gasp 3-2 triumph at the Etihad.
Kane’s masterclass made a mockery of his struggling form – and was enough for Neville to label the England captain as a player that Manchester United would love to have.
“Look, he’s class,” Neville told Sky Sports on Sunday during a segment dissecting the weekend’s big Premier League talking points.
“I know I’ve said before, these players at the highest level, even if they’re going through a more difficult patch on the pitch and off the pitch, they still perform, they still give a lot to the team.
“Yesterday was just an outstanding…I wouldn’t call it a centre-forward performance, I’ll just call it an all-round general leadership performance, just generally in the game.
“To go to Manchester City, you know how difficult it is; you’ve living off scraps as a forward in a game against Manchester City, your possession is down to sort of 25/30 percent, your touches in the game are less, so when you get touches in the game they have to count. And he made every single touch count last night, Harry Kane.
“He was so precise in everything that he did, and when you play against City, to beat them, it has to be that way, because you might only get five [or] six attacks a game; two or three in the first half [then] two or three in the second half – and that’s not chances by the way, that’s attacks.
“Even then, you have to demonstrate courage and turn and take it in difficult positions because Rodri, Laporte, Dias, they’re all over you like a rash, [with] Cancelo and Walker preventing counter-attacks. They’ve got a real good block in place to stop you counter-attacking on them.
“But he was really, really good in the sense that he didn’t waste a pass. He was precise, everything he did was perfect, apart from the chance that he did have, I can’t remember what part of the game it was to be honest with you, but there was a point he had a great chance and Ederson saved it with his leg.
“That was the only thing in the game you could argue that he did wrong, but I think [Kane’s performance] demonstrated what Manchester City were trying to sign, what I think Manchester United would love to have, that centre-forward who is reliable, that’s going to score goals, that you can play off.
“People say that he might not be able to run as much as he used to, but actually, for Manchester City, I don’t think that’s the most important thing because they dominate the ball at the edge of the opponents box for 75 percent of the game.
“Actually having pace doesn’t really count for that much as a Manchester City striker; you’ve got to be clever, you’ve got to work in tight spaces, you’ve got to have that awareness of where your team-mates are in tight spaces, and he has all those things.”