Mauricio Pochettino has been keen to emphasise that he will not rush his World Cup stars back immediately. With nine players in the semi-finals, more than any other club, Spurs look like they will be very pushed at the start of the 2018/19 campaign.
While there are many players Spurs can afford to give a rest to, due to their strength in depth, Harry Kane is not one of them.
For two seasons now, Spurs have tried to find a replacement for Kane up front. Vincent Janssen came and failed, Fernando Llorente was not much better. Heung Min Son became a makeshift striker to cover when Kane was unable to play. However, no one has quite been able to fill his shoes.
With 30 goals to his name last season, as well as the Golden Boot at the World Cup, Kane looks to be in unstoppable form going into the new campaign. Too good to play without him.
Spurs coped without Kane last season when he picked up an ankle injury, with Son deputising very well. They performed much better than they had in previous seasons when Kane had spells on the sidelines. But with Son also appearing in the World Cup, playing an important role in South Korea’s campaign, neither men will be particularly fresh, therefore it may be wise to go for the better option. Seeing as Dele Alli may be rested as well, Son may need to cover his position rather than Kane’s.
Llorente has had a decent preseason, but it seems unlikely that he will start tomorrow. Poch has never had a lot of faith in the Spanish striker, only starting him once in the Premier League last season, so it becomes more and more likely that Kane will be first choice. This is a position the Argentine may not have wanted to be in, but after failing to sign any new forwards, he has been left with no other options.
Spurs have the difficult choice between resting players at the beginning of the season, and still winning matches. Pochettino will definitely not want to start the season on the back foot, and may have to turn to the man who’s delivered time after time.