Vertonghen admits: Kane faces a tough decision over Under-21 tournament
Jan Vertonghen admits Harry Kane faces a tough decision over whether to go to the European Under-21 Championship this summer or to rest.
Kane has played 41 games for Spurs this season and is sure to be a key player in the final 10 league games as his prolific season continues.
The striker is then due to go to the Czech Republic with Gareth Southgate’s England Under-21 squad in June, but Mauricio Pochettino has raised concerns about the forward’s workload.
The head coach said: “Maybe I would prefer that Harry has a month’s holiday after the season to rest and recover his body and mind.”
Vertonghen, who went to the European Under-21 Championship with Belgium in 2007, understands the desire to take every opportunity to play – and he believes Kane could be the “main man” for England this summer.
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However, the defender also feels his team-mate should be wary of doing too much.
“I enjoyed playing for my country [in 2007] because I was never an international in the youth section,” said Vertonghen. “That was my first tournament as a Belgium player and I enjoyed it. It was in Holland and I played in Holland with Ajax back then so for me it was brilliant.
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“It’s a totally different situation with Harry, it’s difficult for me to judge. Of course England want him. He is a brilliant striker and he can be the main man, but I think he needs his rest for next season.
“It’s his call and I know a player always wants to be play, but sometimes you have to be careful. It’s difficult to judge because last season I played with injuries and sometimes you just can’t, and you have to think about what’s going to come. It’s his decision.”
Vertonghen started his 10th successive game in all competitions as Spurs finished their gruelling schedule of six games in 17 days with a 2-1 win at QPR on Saturday, with Spurs taking full advantage of their game in hand and moving up to sixth place in the table.
“It was a good win, I think we deserved it,” he said. “They had two or three good chances but we defended very well.
“It can be difficult in these games, but I don’t think it was until Sandro scored - but we defended very well. We kept a high line because they get dangerous once they get close to our goal with those two strikers [Charlie Austin and Bobby Zamora] but we tried to press them for 90 minutes and it was a shame they scored because I don’t think we deserved that.”
Tottenham now lie just three points behind fourth-placed Manchester United, and they travel to Old Trafford on Sunday in a crucial clash in the top-four battle.
“It’s a massive game for both teams,” said Vertonghen. “We took six points last week [against Swansea and QPR] and we’re closer to the big teams again.
“After this game, after Man United, we have a better run of games that we have to win but in the form we’re showing now we go with confidence to United and hopefully we can win.”
Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs