Rafael van der Vaart hopes Harry Kane remains at Tottenham, allowing the England international to continue working with a "great coach" in Jose Mourinho.

The striker returned from a hamstring injury suffered at the start of 2020 to help Spurs finish in sixth place in the Premier League, securing the north London club a spot in next season's Europa League as a result.

Kane, 27, scored five goals in his final three outings to finish the campaign with 24 in all competitions, though he had sparked speculation over his future earlier in the year when admitting he would not stay at his boyhood club "for the sake of it".

However, Van der Vaart - who spent two years with Spurs - believes Kane does not have to leave in his pursuit to win trophies.

"I really hope that he's going to stay," Van der Vaart - an ambassador for the UEFA Europa League Trophy Tour - told Stats Perform News.

"I hope he's going to stay. Spurs have a great coach.

"It's a club that want to be a championship winner, and the Champions League. They can also pay the money.

"For me, the best thing is for Harry to stay."

While Van der Vaart wants Kane to continue in familiar surroundings, he is delighted to see a famous former Netherlands team-mate return to his roots.

Former Bayern Munich star Arjen Robben announced in July his decision to come out of retirement and sign a deal with Groningen – the club where the winger started his illustrious career.

"It's great. I really love it, because I think it's important for the Dutch league," Van der Vaart said of Robben's return.

"Robben is a great guy. He is so professional. He is still so fit. I always thought, 'Why did he stop?', because football is the best thing you can do.

"He stopped at Bayern Munich, but now it's so important that he's starting again and to go back home, to his former club.

"It's going to be different. He's always played for teams when, 80 per cent of the time, they were better than the opponent, but now you go to Groningen and maybe it's 50-50. That is a different way of playing."

Van der Vaart was speaking as part of this year's Europa League Trophy Tour, which has been collecting football boots from fans for Syrian refugees based in Jordan.

The Premier League's longest season yet concluded on Sunday with Liverpool champions for the first time.

The Reds were comfortable in ending a 30-year wait for a top-flight title, but there was drama until the closing minutes of the final day.

Manchester United and Chelsea can celebrate Champions League qualification as the division's strugglers reflect on their contrasting fortunes.

Meanwhile, with the help of Opta data, we look at some of the quirkiest numbers from the 2019-20 campaign.


5 - David Luiz conceded five penalties in the Premier League this season, the most a player has ever given away in a single season in the competition.

167 - Jack Grealish was fouled 167 times in the 2019-20 Premier League, the most fouls won by a player in a single campaign on record (since 1998-99).

24 - Scott McTominay now has the fastest Premier League yellow card on record. He was booked just 24 seconds into Manchester United's December home win against Newcastle United.

2000 - It was a season of milestones for McTominay, who scored Manchester United's 2000th Premier League goal against Norwich City in October. They became the first club to the landmark.

27 - The Norwich class of 2019-20 became the only side not to record a single point from a losing position in Premier League history. They lost all 27 matches in which they fell behind.

4 - Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard's fourth-placed finish is the highest finish for an English manager in their debut Premier League season since Frank Clark's Nottingham Forest came third in 1994-95.

2 - Lampard's season ended well, but September's 2-1 defeat to Liverpool made him just the second Chelsea boss - after Bobby Campbell in 1988 - to lose his first four home matches in all competitions.

33 - At the age of 33, Jamie Vardy became the oldest player to win the Premier League Golden Boot, scoring 23 goals in 2019-20.

5 - Virgil van Dijk became just the fifth outfield player to play every minute for a Premier League title-winning side, following Gary Pallister (1992-93), John Terry (2014-15), Wes Morgan (2015-16) and Cesar Azpilicueta (2016-17).

2013 - Anthony Martial's June hat-trick against Sheffield United was Manchester United's first in the Premier League since Robin van Persie scored three against Aston Villa in April 2013.

7 - Martial and Marcus Rashford assisted one another a combined seven times in this season's Premier League, the most of any pairing in a single edition of the competition for Manchester United.

49 - All 49 clubs to have played in the Premier League have conceded at least one hat-trick after Raheem Sterling's three-goal haul against Brighton and Hove Albion in July.

14 - Manchester United won 14 penalties in the 2019-20 season, the most a team has ever won in a single Premier League campaign.

29 - Harry Kane is the only player to face more than one club in the Premier League and score against them all, with Sheffield United the 29th he netted against.

15 - Kevin De Bruyne ended the season with a joint-record 20 assists - tied with Thierry Henry - but he became the first player to set up 15 goals in three separate Premier League campaigns.

93 - Tottenham went a record 93 games without a goalless draw before they were held 0-0 by Watford in January.

Tottenham sealed sixth place in the Premier League and European football next season with a 1-1 draw against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

The point lifted Spurs above Wolves, beaten 2-0 by Chelsea, into a second-qualifying round Europa League spot by virtue of a better goal difference.

On the final day of the league season, in-form striker Harry Kane gave Tottenham the lead with his fifth goal in three matches, but Jeffrey Schlupp struck back with a powerful strike eight minutes into the second half.

That goal - Palace's first against Spurs in eight league meetings - denied the visitors a fourth straight win, though events elsewhere ensured it was a good day for Jose Mourinho's side.

Kane gave Spurs the lead after 13 minutes with a clinical finish into the bottom-left corner, the striker showing quick footwork to control Giovani Lo Celso's pass and pick his spot.

Spurs almost snatched a second before half-time when Lucas Moura knocked the ball past Vicente Guaita but failed to squeeze it over the line from a tight angle.

But Palace hit back through Schlupp's strike from eight yards early in the second half after Jordan Ayew helped on Scott Dann's cushioned header into a dangerous area.

Palace had lost seven games in a row ahead of this match but dug deep and nearly edged in front as Joel Ward's cross flicked off Harry Winks' boot and clipped the post.

Knowing that Wolves required two goals against Chelsea, Tottenham seemed content to sit on a draw and achieve their target of finishing sixth, resulting in a subdued end to the game.

What does it mean? Europa League football for Tottenham

Spurs had to better Wolves' result against Chelsea on the final day to overtake Nuno Espirito's men in sixth place.

That could yet become an automatic place in the group stage if Chelsea beat Arsenal in next weekend's FA Cup final.

Clinical Kane concludes campaign on a high

Kane's classy early strike was his seventh goal in six final-day appearances in the Premier League - only Andy Cole (9), Les Ferdinand (9) and Matt Le Tissier (8) have more.

The Englishman ends the season with 18 top-flight goals in all - not bad considering he missed three months of the campaign with a hamstring injury.

Dann outdoes Dier

Spurs' defending for Palace's equaliser was poor, with Dann easily outjumping Dier at the back post and Toby Alderweireld and Ben Davies making a mess of clearing the loose ball.

Dier, returning to the side after a four-game suspension, will have to be more alert if he is to make it as a centre-back.

What's next?

The Premier League announced earlier this week that the 2020-21 campaign will begin on September 12, giving both clubs seven weeks to recover before doing it all again.

Tottenham head coach Jose Mourinho claims Harry Kane "wouldn't be so special playing for another team" amid question marks over the Spurs star's future following his latest exploits.

Kane scored his second successive brace as Tottenham dealt a blow to Leicester City's Champions League hopes with a 3-0 Premier League victory on Sunday.

After scoring twice in the 3-1 midweek triumph at Newcastle United, Kane was at it again with two goals before half-time against Leicester in London following James Justin's sixth-minute own goal.

Kane has refused to rule out a Tottenham exit previously but Spurs boss Mourinho warned the England star may not be held in the same regard elsewhere.

"I think everyone thinks he's a fantastic player and Tottenham is so lucky to have him because he's the player, the person and the Tottenham boy," Mourinho told reporters.

"All this together makes him really a special player for us that probably wouldn't be so special playing for another team. He's really special for us, he's really special for Tottenham.

"Of course we want him to be happy and for him to be happy he wants victories, score goals, and I'm so happy after an incredibly difficult injury he's coming in the direction where he's going to end the season perfect. Hopefully the beginning of next season he will be even better."

Kane has scored 17 Premier League goals this season, six adrift of Golden Boot leader and Leicester star Jamie Vardy, with one match remaining.

In total, Kane netted 23 goals across all competitions for last season's Champions League runners-up.

"He's doing incredible effort since day one, since injury day," Mourinho said. "Even without the sad situation of coronavirus he was preparing himself to be back as soon as possible to play the last four, five, six matches of the season. He was doing an incredible effort, working so much for that.

"Then the lockdown was hard because with so many rules in relation to visits, in relation to medical departments, the training ground closed, the medical people forbidden to have direct contact with players was really a period that I think break a little bit his evolution.

"When training ground opened I think everything changed for him. Incredible work in the club, always do some work privately at home. He's a guy that lives for family, for football and for a little bit of goals. Amazing professional."

Jose Mourinho declared Harry Kane is "second to none" when it comes to strikers the Tottenham boss has worked with during his distinguished coaching career. 

Kane continued his strong finish to the truncated 2019-20 season with two goals against Leicester City on Sunday, having also scored a brace in the midweek win away at Newcastle United. 

The England international converted a one-on-one opportunity with his left foot to double the lead over the Foxes, then curled home a glorious effort from long range to wrap up a 3-0 triumph before half-time.

Mourinho admits Spurs are "lucky" to have someone of such quality to lead the line – and made clear it is up to the rest of the team to raise their standards and help their talismanic frontman. 

Asked on Sky Sports if the 26-year-old is one of the best strikers he has coached, Mourinho replied: "Of course he is.  

"It's difficult for me to compare strikers, I had almost in every club some of the best, but Harry is second to none. Just different – different qualities – but as a striker, as a goalscorer, as a team player, as a leader, I think he is fantastic.  

"It's difficult to make him better – the better the team is, the better he can be. I think it depends more on us, more on the team than himself.  

"He's an amazing professional who works very, very well. He cannot work better than what he does during the week, he's a fantastic striker and I'm so happy. Tottenham are so lucky to have him." 

Kane has now scored 16 goals in 14 games against Leicester, a club where he spent a loan spell during the early phase of his career. 

A hamstring injury seemed set to ruin the second half of his campaign but the delay caused by the coronavirus pandemic has given both him and Spurs – who are up to sixth in the table – an unexpected chance to finish strongly. 

"I said before this game that it [the break] gave me a chance to rest and recover," Kane told Sky Sports. 

"I did a lot of work outside of the club to feel good, and I'm feeling probably as good as I have done for the past four or five years now.  

"Obviously it's good to be finishing strongly. We know we've got one more game now – hopefully we can win and I can score a couple more." 

He added: "I keep performing, week in and week out. I work hard for the team and score goals, that's all I can do. I like to do my talking on the pitch and that's what we've done today." 

With the aim of qualifying for next season's Europa League, Tottenham complete their league fixtures with a trip to Selhurst Park to play Crystal Palace next Sunday. 

Tottenham put a serious dent in Leicester City's Champions League hopes as their late-season resurgence under Jose Mourinho continued, Harry Kane scoring twice in a 3-0 win on Sunday. 

Spurs climbed above Wolves into sixth place in the table as they coasted to a fourth successive home triumph in the Premier League, their best run since moving into the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

After a brace away at Newcastle United on Wednesday, Kane's clinical finishing epitomised a ruthless performance from Mourinho's side, who exposed opponents left shorthanded at the back due to injuries and suspension.

While the hosts are peaking towards the delayed conclusion of the 2019-20 campaign, Leicester are in danger of dropping out of the top four at the wrong time.

The Foxes remain fourth for now on goal difference but have played a game more than nearest rivals Manchester United – their opponents in the final round of fixtures.

Brendan Rodgers' depleted team fell behind in unfortunate circumstances; Son Heung-min's right-footed shot was heading wide of the target before taking a deflection off James Justin to wrong-foot Kasper Schmeichel. 

The visitors responded well to the early setback but only had themselves to blame for conceding again in the 37th minute, carelessly caught short of numbers as Spurs countered quickly after dealing with a corner.

Lucas Moura's throughball allowed Kane to steer a left-footed shot across the advancing Schmeichel and into the net. 

The England striker used his right to add another before the half-time interval, sublimely curling home as Leicester failed to close down the space once he cut inside to open up a shooting opportunity. 

An offside flag denied Kane a potential hat-trick but Spurs were able to coast through the second half with few concerns. In contrast, Rodgers and Leicester have plenty to ponder after this chastening defeat in the capital.

 

What does it mean? Foxes fading down the stretch

An eighth successive away game without a win leaves Leicester waiting to see where they sit by kick-off time against United, who can climb above them if they avoid defeat to West Ham at Old Trafford in midweek.

Rodgers has been hampered badly by key absences down the stretch, while a creaking defence minus full-back duo Ricardo Pereira and Ben Chilwell has now conceded seven goals in their last two road trips. Home comforts will be most welcome next weekend, but it could well be win or bust at the King Power Stadium.

Kane finishing strongly 

A Premier League season seemingly set to be cut short by injury before the coronavirus pandemic is ending impressively for Spurs' talismanic frontman. The rustiness so present when the action resumed in mid-June is now well and truly gone – Kane is back to being a well-oiled attacking machine. 

Bennett made to suffer 

Ryan Bennett's third league start for Leicester was short but not so sweet. The defender, who joined on loan from top-flight rivals Wolves in January, endured a torrid first 45 minutes on the right side of a back three before being replaced at the break, sparing him further anguish.

What's next? 

While Spurs round out their league fixtures with a short trip to Crystal Palace, Leicester have that huge showdown with United next Sunday. 

Harry Kane has warned his Tottenham team-mates that anything less than six points from their remaining two matches will likely result in them missing out on European football next term.

Spurs claimed a 3-1 win at Newcastle United on Wednesday to move them up to seventh, which would be high enough to secure a spot in next season's Europa League, assuming the FA Cup is won by a team already certain of European qualification.

Sheffield United could move back above Spurs when they play their game in hand on Thursday, though their opponents – Leicester City – are also in the mix, meaning at least one European hopeful will drop points.

With the Premier League then heading into its final two rounds of matchdays, Jose Mourinho will hope Spurs are primed to take full advantage of any slip-ups – particularly given Champions League qualification is still a remote possibility.

And Kane has told his colleagues they must assume anything other than two wins against Leicester and Crystal Palace will see them fail.

"[Beating Newcastle] was a massive win," he told the Spurs website. "We said before, 'Three games, it has to be three wins if we want to be in with a shout of reaching the Europa League.'

"Arsenal was a big win for us and that gave us momentum coming into these final three games. Every game is tough, and it's been an up-and-down season for us, especially our away form, so we knew it was important to get the three points and thankfully we did.

"Now, some of the teams around us have to play each other, so we'd imagine two more wins and we should be in the Europa League places, but we can only take care of ourselves and see what happens. It's a massive game on Sunday [against Leicester] now."

Kane scored twice in the win at Newcastle to reach 201 career goals at club level and, while he insisted it is not something he will dwell on, he did acknowledge it felt good to receive recognition for remaining consistent despite having some injury issues in recent seasons.

"It's a nice milestone to hit but as always when I'm told about these milestones, it's always on to the next 100 or 200," he added. "It's gone quickly – I've been a professional now for eight or nine years and it just flies by.

"In the last couple of years I've had a few injuries as well, and they've kept me out of quite a lot of games. [Scoring 20 goals per season] is a nice, consistent level I'd like to keep at and I'm happy to do it again this season. Two more games to go, let's see how many more we can get."

Jose Mourinho hailed Serge Aurier's character and lavished praise on Harry Kane after Tottenham's 3-1 win at Newcastle United.

Kane scored the 200th and 201st club goals of his career in the second half to give Mourinho his first Premier League victory at St James' Park on Wednesday.

Son Heung-min put the visitors in front in the first half, but Matt Ritchie deservedly equalised with a stunning second-half strike.

Kane made wasteful Newcastle pay for a lack of ruthlessness to move his side up to seventh in the table with two games to play in the battle for European qualification.

Mourinho lauded his captain and full-back Aurier, who played the entire game just two days after the death of his brother.

"We had resilience and a great desire to win the match and to fight until the last for our objective which is the Europa League," the Spurs boss told Match of the Day.

"Since I started we are fourth in the table. If we cannot get the Champions League than the Europa League is important."

The Portuguese added: "Harry Kane knows how important he is, he is incredible.

"After such a difficult recovery [from injury] he is playing every minute of every game, this is the fourth game with two days in between, we are the only team to have this, and Harry gave everything.

"I am proud of them and happy with the points. Serge Aurier is a very strong character, every person is different and in his case he wanted to play."

Harry Kane scored the 200th and 201st club goals of his career as Tottenham boosted their bid for European qualification with a 3-1 win at Newcastle United.

Kane had gone three games without a goal, but the England captain headed home twice as Jose Mourinho celebrated his first Premier League victory at St James' Park.

Son Heung-min opened the scoring for Tottenham in the first half with his 18th goal of the season, but Matt Ritchie deservedly levelled after the break with a thunderous drive.

Kane restored the London club's advantage four minutes later, though, and struck again late on as Spurs followed up their derby win over Arsenal with another three points to move up to seventh with two games to play.

Tottenham were not at their best but ground out another victory, Serge Aurier showing great character to play just two days after the death of his brother.

Newcastle did not start like a team that had lost their last two games and Jonjo Shelvey spurned a great chance to put them in front, heading Ritchie's inviting cross over the crossbar from close range unchallenged after Miguel Almiron had an early shot deflected wide.

Son made the Magpies pay for their profligacy, DeAndre Yedlin allowing him too much room inside the penalty area to find bottom-left corner of the net after Fabian Schar had given the ball away after 27 minutes.

Martin Dubravka produced an acrobatic save to deny Son from long range soon after and Newcastle were almost level when Dwight Gayle headed Shelvey's inviting cross against the post.

Steve Bruce's side were level 11 minutes into the second half, though, Aurier's attempted clearance only finding the onrushing Ritchie, who smashed a stunning strike into the far corner.

Kane ensured Newcastle were not level for long, however, nodding in substitute Steven Bergwijn's cross to reach another landmark.

Valentino Lazaro found the side-netting as Newcastle strived for an equaliser, but Kane sealed it when he nodded in with time running out after Erik Lamela's shot was palmed into his path by Dubravka.

Jose Mourinho was reluctant to discuss "you know who" after another VAR review went against Tottenham in their goalless draw at Bournemouth.

Spurs dropped Premier League points in their bid to secure European qualification as they were held by the relegation-threatened Cherries, failing to even muster a shot on target.

But Mourinho felt Tottenham should have had an opportunity from the penalty spot in the opening minutes as Harry Kane went down in the area under contact from Josh King.

No spot-kick was awarded and Spurs ended the game clinging to a point, this time grateful for VAR after a King handball was spotted as Callum Wilson scored.

Mourinho acknowledged Tottenham were below par, yet after fuming at decisions in games against Manchester United and Sheffield United, the officials were again the subject of the head coach's ire.

"The game had the most important moment, you know when, you know who," he told Sky Sports.

"I don't want to say anything more in relation to that, because everybody knows and I don't need to say much more in relation to that. Everybody knows."

And it did not escape Mourinho's attention that Michael Oliver, as against the Blades, when Kane saw a goal controversially disallowed, was the VAR.

"The same referee who did the VAR decision against Sheffield United, Michael Oliver," he said. "Opinions matter.

"It's not only mine, everybody knows that is a penalty, and when I say everybody, I mean everybody. Everybody."

Mourinho added: "The performance was not good enough but good enough to win. I'm not saying [it was] a strong performance, I'm not saying a sharp performance, but I say good enough to win.

"In a way, they surprised us with the way they played. Since Bournemouth were in the Premier League, I don't remember them playing the way they did.

"But that is an option for them because they have a point they wanted. They played direct, only direct, they didn't move the ball in the first phase like they used to do, and they made it difficult for us in their approach.

"But I think we were not sharp. We were dominant behind - it was an easy game behind - but then [there was a] lack of sharpness in attacking areas.

"I made changes, I think the changes helped improve the game in the last part of the game, but we didn't score goals and you don't win when you don't score goals."

Harry Kane said he feels "as fit as I've ever done" after scoring his first goal of 2020 in Tottenham's 2-0 win over West Ham on Tuesday.

Kane returned to action for the first time since New Year's Day following a hamstring injury and the coronavirus-enforced hiatus in Friday's draw with Manchester United.

The England striker looked visibly off the pace in that game and wasted several chances against West Ham before making sure of the points eight minutes from time.

Tottenham's win moves them within a point of fifth-placed United and sixth-placed Wolves in the race for Champions League football.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Kane said of his goal: "As a striker, it's what you want to do, you want to score goals, you want to help win games.

"I'm happy to get back on the scoresheet. It was a tough game, it took us a while to break them down. Obviously we had a few chances before we scored the first one, then it was nice to finish it off at the end.

"When you've been out for over six months, it's getting that feeling back on the pitch. You can train as much as you want, but being out here is totally different. I had a few I probably should have scored – definitely one other – but it was nice to put that one away.

"I've been working very hard all through my rehab, through the lockdown and the warm-up games leading to the first Premier League game. I feel as fit as I've ever done before.

"It's been a good chance to rest, recover and work on a few things I haven't been able to over the years. I'm feeling in good shape.

"I'm someone who, whether I score or not, miss chances, I'm always ready for the next one. I don't think it bothers me too much. But scoring is one of the best feelings in the world. It's been a while since I've done it. It's great to get that.

"We've got a little rest now – it's Sheffield United next in a big game – so hopefully we can continue from this win and take it into the rest of the games."

Kane's goal came in his 200th Premier League appearance for Tottenham. He has 137 goals for Spurs in that time, only Sergio Aguero (138) has scored more in his first 200 league appearances for a club.

"It's good but it can always be better," Kane added of that tally. "Look, 200 games goes so quick. I've been playing first-team football now for five or six years and the years just fly by.

"I've got to make the most of it, keep in as good shape as possible. I'm still only 26 and I've still got plenty of years to go, so hopefully I can get to that 200 mark sooner rather than later and see where we go from there."

Harry Kane scored his first goal since December as Tottenham boosted their Champions League hopes with a 2-0 win over West Ham. 

Tomas Soucek inadvertently turned into his own net in the 64th minute to give Spurs the lead and Kane, who finally returned from a hamstring injury suffered in January in Friday's draw with Manchester United, made sure of the result on his 200th league appearance for the club. 

Victory for Jose Mourinho's men keeps the pressure on Manchester United and Wolves as they seek to return to the Champions League following their last-16 exit this season. 

Meanwhile, West Ham remain outside the bottom three only on goal difference having suffered successive defeats since the season resumed after the coronavirus-enforced hiatus. 

The Hammers succeeded in neutralising Tottenham's threat in a first half that was most notable for VAR ruling Son Heung-min had strayed offside before lashing beyond Lukasz Fabianski in the 45th minute. 

Tottenham registered the only two shots on target of the first half - one of which came from a vicious long-range drive from Lucas Moura, who struck woefully wide in stoppage time after good work down the left from Ben Davies. 

Fabianski had to be alert to block Kane's flicked effort at the near post from Serge Aurier's right-wing cross before Pablo Fornals spurned a presentable opportunity at the other end. 

Kane fired narrowly over the crossbar from the edge of the area and was guilty of profligacy at the end of a rapid counter, firing wide of the right-hand post by an even finer margin. 

But Tottenham finally broke the deadlock in fortuitous circumstances when a corner from their right struck the back of Soucek's leg and squirmed past Fabianski. 

Jarrod Bowen clattered the post for West Ham before Kane surged through and slotted home in confident fashion to seal the points. 

Jose Mourinho has a new nickname for Harry Kane after the Spurs striker completed 90 minutes in his first outing for five months against Manchester United.

"Hero Kane" was unable to find the net during Friday's 1-1 draw but Mourinho has no doubt the England captain's goalscoring form will come.

Kane ruptured hamstring tendons during Spurs' 1-0 defeat to Southampton on New Year's Day, undergoing surgery that might have threatened an early end to his season without the coronavirus shutdown.

Ankle problems have also been an unwelcomely familiar hindrance over recent years for the 26-year-old, but Mourinho marvelled at how he has thrown himself into hard work on the training field since Tottenham regrouped for the season restart.

"I know that if tomorrow he scores two goals, the talk stops, but let's suppose that he doesn't score a goal. I think it's just normal process," said Mourinho, whose team host West Ham on Tuesday.

"How long it will take? I don't know. All I know is Harry Kane had an incredible effort. He played 90 minutes, he was training again today and yesterday, he's ready to play tomorrow.

"He's an incredible professional, he's super committed with the team. If I have to wait patiently for him to score two goals or three goals in one game and then everybody starts saying that Harry Kane is back, I wait.

"But for me, it is not Harry Kane, it is 'Hero' Kane because a guy that had a big surgery has a lockdown that stopped the perfect rehabilitation.

"With all the difficulties, then coming to normal training only for a couple of weeks. For me, 'Hero' Kane. If he gives me the same [against West Ham] that he did against United I will be more than happy."

Kane has scored seven times in 11 outings under his current manager, part of an overall season haul of 27 in 32 appearances for club and country.

Mourinho made a impassioned defence of his track record with star forwards such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Didier Drogba, following claims by former England international Paul Merson that Kane would struggle to remain prolific under his management.

Of Kane's 36 touches against United, none came in the opposition penalty area and Merson suggested the player might consider his future at the end of the season, with Spurs missing out on European football a possibility.

Nevertheless, Mourinho is confident his premier attacker will remain and insisted the player's ambitions are aligned with those of himself, Daniel Levy and Joe Lewis – Tottenham's chairman and owner respectively.

"The club doesn't need to do anything," he said. "The club just need to say, 'Harry Kane is ours, Harry Kane has a long-term contract, Harry Kane is not for sale, Harry Kane is Tottenham, Harry Kane is staying.'

"We want the same. He doesn't want anything different to what Mr Levy wants, Mr Lewis wants and what I want. He doesn't want anything different than us."

Spurs are eighth in the Premier League table, nine points shy of fourth-placed Chelsea with eight matches remaining.

Even allowing for the prospect of Manchester City's Champions League ban being upheld and fifth place granting entry to Europe's top competition, Mourinho is prepared for the reality and consequences of Tottenham falling short.

He added: "If we get a Champions League position, we are helping the club; if we get a Europa League position, we are helping less but we are still helping the club.

"If we don't get a Europa League position, we are not helping the club in relation to that extra money."

Jose Mourinho has passionately hit back at suggestions he will not be able to get the best out of Harry Kane as Tottenham manager.

Kane's performance in Spurs' 1-1 home draw against Manchester United on Friday prompted former Arsenal star Paul Merson to cast doubt over the England captain's suitability in Mourinho's system.

Responding at a news conference ahead of Tuesday's home Premier League match with West Ham, the former Manchester United, Real Madrid, Chelsea and Inter boss stressed he respects Merson.

But Mourinho felt the comments had prompted unfair analysis over Kane's future at Spurs.

He launched into a four-minute answer listing forwards who had succeeded under his management, including Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, accompanied by statistics.

Kane had scored seven goals in 10 matches before suffering a serious hamstring injury on January 1, with the United game, in which he played the full 90 minutes, marking his return to action.

"I feel a bit strange about some analysis and some comments," said Mourinho. "The beginning of some comments and analysis started from Paul.

"I have to say I respect people a lot like him and because I respect him a lot, I want to be nice in my answer. I try to be nice and I try just to say something where people can think a little a bit.

"First of all, Harry played his first game for six months and if you watch the game and you analyse the game, compare Harry Kane with Anthony Martial.

"Was it a game of many chances? Was it a game where the two strikers had a lot of chances? Do you give credit to my defence for Martial's game? 

"Do you give credit to United's defence and for the occasions we created or we didn't create? I think you have to look at it in a balanced approach.

"In our case, Harry doesn't play a game for six months. Phenomenal [that he played 90 minutes]. 

"The record of goals that Harry has with me is easy for you. You just look, go to your data and it is easy to see how many matches Harry played with me before his injury and how many goals he scored."

Uninterrupted, Mourinho's impassioned defence continued as he added: "I can say that I had a few strikers that played for me and they are not bad. 

"I had one guy called [Didier] Drogba. He played for me [over] four seasons. He scored 186 goals which gives an average of 46 goals per season.

"I had one guy that is not also bad - he [Ronaldo] plays for Juventus now. He played for me [during] three seasons. He scored 168 goals, which gives an average of 56 goals per season.

"I had another guy who is not also bad called Karim Benzema. He played for me [during] three seasons.

"He was not always starting because he was quite young at that time. But he scored for me 78 goals in three season which gives a 26-goal average per season.

"I had another one called [Diego] Milito. He played one season for me [and] he scored 30 goals. He won three titles and of course the average is 30 [per season].

"I had another guy that played for me [over] one and a half seasons - I say one and half because in the other half he had a big injury. A tall guy called Zlatan [Ibrahimovic].

"He played one and a half seasons. He scored 58 goals which gives a 29-goal average per season.

"So, dear Paul, I have lots of respect for you. [But] I think Harry Kane has no problems at all to score goals in my teams. 

"Especially when he is fit, fresh, when he has routines of playing. So, that is my message to somebody that I have lots of respect for."

Bruno Fernandes converted a late penalty won by Paul Pogba to secure Manchester United a 1-1 draw away at top-four rivals Tottenham on Friday.

Steve Bergwijn's 26th-minute opener appeared set to give Jose Mourinho a much-needed victory over his former employers as Spurs aim to make a late charge to qualify for next season's Champions League.

However, United were rewarded for an improved second-half display with an equaliser, Pogba - on as a substitute as he returned after a long injury lay-off - producing a burst into the box that tempted a rash challenge from Eric Dier.

Fernandes showed excellent composure to fire home from 12 yards out, sending Hugo Lloris the wrong way, as the visitors extended their unbeaten run in all competitions to 12 games. 

It appeared the Portuguese would have the chance to score again from the spot when referee Jonathan Moss adjudged he had been fouled by Dier, but a VAR check reversed the on-field call.

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