Nuno Espirito Santo has stressed that he will decide on Saturday whether or not Harry Kane will be involved for Tottenham against Man City.
Returning to Hotspur Way last weekend after a summer break in the Bahamas and Florida, the England captain has had to isolate away from his Spurs teammates at Hotspur Way due to the current travel restrictions in place.
Taking his place in training with them once again on Friday after spending time on his own at The Lodge, Espirito Santo did reveal that he had a talk with the 28-year-old and “everything is OK” amid speculation over a summer move to Man City.
With question marks still surrounding Kane’s availability for this weekend’s encounter at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, the head coach refused to give anything away when asked if his conversation with his player had left him encouraged that he could play a part on Sunday.
“Harry [Kane] is a part, a part of the group,” stated Espirito Santo.
When pressed if that would be a playing part, he added: “That part we will decide tomorrow, not only with Harry but with all the players involved in the training sessions.
“We have to decide a squad, decide a team then we go to the hotel and all these decisions are not today.
“But all the players that were in the training session today are a part of us.”
Due to Man City’s need to sign a striker this summer following Sergio Aguero’s exit after ten years at the Etihad Stadium, Kane has been heavily linked with a switch to Pep Guardiola’s team.
As keen as City are to get a deal over the line for last season’s Premier League top goalscorer, Spurs have maintained that they have no intention of selling him this summer.
Spurs were famously dubbed the “Harry Kane team” by Guardiola back in 2017, but Espirito Santo gave a rather blunt response when asked about whether there is a future after the striker if he is to depart.
“You are asking things based on poorly… ifs and eventually could happen,” said the 47-year-old.
“I cannot answer to that. I can answer based on reality and reality is: today, all the players that are here are with us.
“What can happen we don’t know and I don’t waste too much time thinking about this, I’m sorry.”
Playing without Kane throughout pre-season due to his involvement in Euro 2020 and then his summer break, Espirito Santo has a big call to make over whether he includes him after such a quick turnaround.
Amid question marks over whether the player is in the right frame of mind to take part in the game given constant talk over a switch to the Etihad, Espirito Santo said he will make up his mind on Saturday.
“You don’t know the content or the outcome of our conversation. You don’t know. Correct? I suppose you don’t,” said the ex-Wolves boss.
“You are also stating what happened. And what happened is between me and Harry and like I say, the decision about that and not only with Harry … with Bryan [Gil], with [Cristian] Romero, players that joined us later, we are going to take it tomorrow.
“Today, we prepared the training session, we did a fantastic training session but we still have tomorrow to make the final decisions and adjust the final details for the game.”
Espirito Santo also made it clear that a decision over Kane and other squad members wouldn’t just simply come down to fitness.
“No, no. All the decisions are not only based on fitness. It’s based on many many aspects that we have to consider,” admitted the Portuguese boss.
“Football players are not only professional, they are people that deal with many situations.
“All of us, we have our own lives. And when we make decisions, I try to get as much info as I can so my decision is the best for the team. But many aspects we have to consider.”
Going through pre-season unbeaten after three wins and two draws, Spurs have so far caught the eye under the new head coach.
His appointment at the end of June did raise eyebrows amongst the fanbase due to Wolves’ struggles in 2020/21 but he has so far won many over with attacking football.
As important as it is to be strong at the back and clinical up top, Espirito Santo has indicated that a key fundamental of his Tottenham team will be to work “very hard” to make the fans proud.
“One of the things we are focused on is to be solid. And when I say solid it’s not solid in defence or offence, it’s to be solid,” he revealed.
“Solid is knowing all the moments of the game we must give answers in terms of tasks that enable us to be solid during the game.
“That is organisation, clear tasks on our players and after that try to explore all the talent that we have based on our organisation.
“Then words that I can say to you guys is work, work, work. We have to work very hard because I believe this is the best way that we will make our fans proud.
“We will work very hard. I’m sure the fans will enjoy it because the players are so willing to play in our stadium, Sunday is going to be amazing.
“We had the first contact with the fans in the game with Arsenal, it was huge, there was 20,000 and Sunday is going to be 64,000 and you can imagine the adrenaline that we are all going to feel and we have to absorb this and what the fans give us and put it on the pitch.
“The best way is to work, enjoy the game, compete, every ball is important, every moment is important.
“This is how I see the games, action after action, always giving answers to tough questions that the opponents are going to give us.”
An important year for Tottenham after missing out on a Champions League place in each of the past two seasons, Espirito Santo is clearly looking forward to the task at hand as he looks to get his team back on track.
“Maybe I don’t show you… but I’m really excited,” he admitted. “Football is about playing matches in beautiful stadiums against tough opponents that make you go beyond what you think is possible to do.
“This is what I feel, I feel that we have to go beyond all the limits that football naturally imposes on you. You have to go much further. I’m feeling that, the players are feeling that, we just want to play, test ourselves, go beyond our limits.
“In terms of expectations, Tottenham is a huge club, fantastic club, very talented squad but we can only focus on tomorrow. Tomorrow is the only thing we can focus on.
“After tomorrow, we will focus on the game and think about the game. We will think again, working hard, being together, creating a unit. going day by day in our lives.”
Following the vaccination drive across the country in wake of the Coronavirus pandemic which has now seen three-quarters of UK adults now double-jabbed, the Tottenham boss has made his stance clear on whether his players should get it.
“This is a personal opinion. I encourage everybody in society to get vaccination because the pandemic is still there, everybody is suffering with it,” he said.
“We see the problems and the suffering of everybody so vaccine is a solution so I encourage everybody to do the vaccination. But I also respect all the individual decisions of basic players.
“If someone decides that it’s not good for him I respect that. I will try to understand why. But at the end of the day I will respect their decision.
“It’s an individual decision but if you ask me do I encourage, yes I do.”
Source by Football London