Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood has claimed he prevented Tottenham selling Harry Kane last January.
Sherwood has been credited with helping Kane’s development during his previous job as Spurs’ technical director and gave the 21-year-old his first Premier League start for Tottenham in April 2014 during an ill-fated spell as head coach.
After praising Kane for winning his first call-up to the senior England squad, Sherwood claimed several Tottenham officials wanted to sell the youngster in order to bring in another striker but he “wouldn’t allow it to happen”.
Sherwood said: “When I first put Harry in the team, Roberto Soldado was on the bench, and after 30 minutes if Harry hadn’t scored the fans would be singing for Soldado to come on.
“It took time for Harry to win them over but they love him now and they’re reaping the rewards for it.
“I am delighted for him. It’s just great I resisted the temptation to get rid of him last January because perhaps he wouldn’t be the star he is for Tottenham now.
“He was never close to leaving in my opinion but there were people at the club who wanted to bring in another striker and sacrifice Harry Kane – but I wouldn’t allow that to happen."
Kane has scored more goals than any other English striker this season, notching 26 times in all competitions, including 16 in the Premier League.
There were people at the club who wanted to bring in another striker and sacrifice Harry Kane – but I wouldn’t allow that to happen.
And Sherwood said: “We never knew whether he was going to reach the level he’s at now but we knew his mentality, desire and passion for the game was second to none.
“He’s got tremendous self-belief. He doesn’t see anyone as competition; he just sees himself and wanting to improve.
“Tremendous credit should go to Christian Eriksen and Gylfi Sigurdsson. As much as Harry was a fantastic trainer, those two guys spent hours on the training field with him; striking balls, working on the right side, the left side, and showing Harry how to train properly.”