Don’t start Harry Kane in Champions League final: Glenn Hoddle, Latest Football News - The New Paper

Don’t start Harry Kane in Champions League final: Glenn Hoddle

But Davids believes Spurs striker does not need to be fully fit to make a difference in Champions League final

Tottenham Hotspur favourite Glenn Hoddle is "delighted" that Harry Kane is fit for the Champions League final, but hopes he won't start against Liverpool on Sunday morning (Singapore time).

Spurs talisman Kane has not played since early last month, after damaging ankle ligaments in the 1-0 first-leg win over Manchester City in the Champions League quarter-finals.

But the 25-year-old has since declared himself "ready to play" at the Wanda Metropolitano.

Former Spurs player and manager Hoddle hopes Kane does play, but not from the start.

He told talkSPORT: "I'm absolutely delighted that he's fit, but I definitely wouldn't start him.

"I think what a sight it would be for the Spurs fans and his teammates, if he's there with half an hour to go and the game is hanging on an inch or is heading into extra-time.

"What a sight to see him come on with Lucas Moura and Son Heung Min if goals are needed, and what a sight if they are hanging onto the game, because he can hold the ball up.

"The tempo of the game is going to be absolutely incredible at the beginning, Liverpool like to press and play that high tempo, I don't think he'll be ready for that sort of pace.

"I really feel that once the game is settled in the second half and he's coming on fresh, I think that's where he can have a real impact...

"A 100 per cent fit Harry Kane starts, there's no doubt about it, but at this moment in time, I think he'll be on the bench."

The last time Liverpool won club football's most prestigious prize, Rafael Benitez was in the dugout, and he also believes starting Kane would be a risk.

Benitez told Sky Sports: "That is the main question, whether you play him coming back from injury or not.


"The only one who can make the right decision is (manager Mauricio) Pochettino, because he knows the player and he has been watching training.

"The player will say: 'Yes, I am fine', because he will be desperate to play the final.

"So he has to talk with the medical staff and decide...

"It is a big decision.

"They were doing so well and the players up front are so dynamic, to change that and put a player who is maybe not fully fit is a risk. We have to wait and see how confident Pochettino is with the fitness of Harry Kane."

The England captain has scored 24 goals in all competitions for Spurs this season, his lowest tally since becoming a first-team regular in 2014/15.

But former Spurs midfielder Edgar Davids believes Kane can still make a difference even if he is not fully fit.

He told Sky Sports: "He's 25, so that means he is still young.

"He's still in the bloom of his career. You recover quick when you are that young.

"It depends on the coach and the strategy.

"At the end of the day, he's a striker and a striker doesn't have to run that much. He just has to finish the chance he gets.

"For a striker, it's different to a midfield player that really has to go box-to-box and chase and attack. The tactics are crucial in this one."