You get these trophy managers going into clubs with their heads on the block and the perception is kids will let you down. I’ve always maintained that is a misconception.
A £100million signing will let you down, too. If the kid is doing the right things in training, back him. That’s what happened with Harry.
Harry Kane’s goal against Fulham meant the striker equalled Jimmy Greaves’s scoring record
Tim Sherwood was named Tottenham manager in 2013 and handed the England star his debut
He was outperforming Roberto Soldado and Emmanuel Adebayor. He deserved the opportunity and after making his first Premier League start in April 2014 – a 5-1 win over Sunderland in which he scored – he never looked back.
I hate ‘natural talent’. There’s no such thing as a ‘natural’ footballer. It takes hard work, and no one typifies that more than this boy. Harry worked hard. He still works hard. Having Christian Eriksen as a team-mate helped in those early days.
Christian showed Harry how to get the best out of what you’ve got and the way to improve. There’s never been a ceiling with Harry. Never a time where he’s thought: ‘I’ve cracked it.’ I always said Harry’s biggest attribute is between his ears. I would take his drive and determination over ability all day long. When you can marry up the two, like he has done, then you’ve got a serious footballer.
Every manager that took Harry on loan said he wouldn’t make it. There wasn’t one who said he would. If they tell you different, they’re lying. I’m not knocking that. It was their opinion at the time.
The likes of Andre Villas-Boas (pictured left with Gareth Bale) didn’t trust Kane at Tottenham
Tim Sherwood gave Kane his opportunity in the team and the striker has never looked back
But I never judged Harry when he was away from Tottenham. I thought it was the best for his development – to play competitive football. I’d go watch him. At Millwall in 2012, there was an intense atmosphere. But that was exactly what he needed. For him to keep putting that shirt on when he hadn’t scored, only to end up being named Millwall’s Young Player of the Year, showed the character of the boy.
When Harry came back to Tottenham after a series of loans, I advised him not to accept any more offers and to stick around and fight for his place. The manager previous to me, Andre Villas-Boas, had no intention of putting him in.
Franco Baldini was sporting director and he wrote off Harry, saying he wasn’t good enough for the Premier League. Tottenham wanted me to get rid of him.