In pictures: Tottenham v Crystal Palace
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Tottenham star Harry Kane reaped the rewards of a bold call made by director of football Fabio Paratici during a routine victory over Crystal Palace. The England captain was first on the scoresheet as Antonio Conte’s side put together a solid 3-0 victory, with the visitors going down to 10 men in the first half.
Sunday afternoon saw another clinical finish from Kane after breaking his home Premier League duck against Liverpool last weekend.
It means that the 28-year-old has scored in all six of his Boxing Day appearances, equalling the all-time record with nine total goals.
But things have not been smooth sailing for Kane this campaign, having struggled to gain momentum in the Premier League.
While he is hardly back to his marauding best, a powerful strike from Lucas Moura’s low cross will bring him extra confidence amid a chaotic run of fixtures over the festive period.
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And part of the striker’s resurgence can be put down to a call made by Paratici when seeking to replace Nuno Espirito Santo as manager.
According to Fabrizio Romano, the Italian wanted to appoint Conte at any cost due to his belief about Kane.
After the former Inter Milan boss got the job, he reportedly informed the frontman that he was to be the centre of his project at the north London side.
That was not enough to get the Englishman firing straight away though, with his struggles initially persisting in front of goal.
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But two neat finishes in his past two Premier League home games should go some way towards repaying the faith shown in him by Paratici and Conte, even when his form faltered.
Club chairman Daniel Levy was intent on keeping hold of Spurs’ talisman during the summer amid interest from Manchester City.
And with three key figures of authority at the club now on the same page regarding the striker, it seems unlikely that he will be on the move any time soon.
Levy’s stubborn stance on the prospective deal appeared to have ruffled City boss Pep Guardiola, who may have launched a thinly-veiled dig about the saga this week when discussing the imminent departure of Ferran Torres to Barcelona.
“I said many times, when he came to me, if you are not happy you have to leave,” he said.
“We are not a club like other teams when you want to leave and the CEO and president say no.
“For everyone, if you want to leave because you’re not happy here, you believe you’ll be happy in another place, you have to go.
“Career is short, one day it’s over.”
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