Merson pulls no punches over Kane after Conte’s Tottenham arrival

Former Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson believes Antonio Conte will have the ‘same issue” with Harry Kane as Nuno Espirito Santo did at Tottenham.

The Italian manager was named as Santo’s replacement, after the Portuguese boss was dismissed swiftly after Spurs’ hideous 3-0 home defeat to Manchester United.

Conte arrives into North London three seasons after being sacked by Chelsea after winning the Premier League and the FA Cup in his two seasons.

He will also be arriving five months after managing Inter Milan to their first Serie A title in 10 years – but despite his experience and many honours, Merson believes Conte may run into the same problems Santo had with the Spurs talisman.

“It's going to be hard. He needs to get Kane going, and there's a midfield three that aren't going to make too many chances,” Merson said in his column for Sky Sports.

“The Harry Kane thing starts all over again in January.

"Look at Man City, they've failed to score in six of their 16 games this season, which is unthinkable.

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“I think in January, Kane to City is still alive.

“Man City are in danger of falling behind Chelsea at the moment. This is the problem Nuno had, and Conte has the same issue with Kane.”

Santo’s pre-season as Tottenham manager was dominated by speculation linking Kane with a move to Pep Guardiola’s side.

City submitted a bid of around £100m for Kane in June, and other reports from the Independent claimed they were willing to go up to around £150m for the striker.

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However, the move did not suffice, and Kane remained with Santo’s side, where he only scored one Premier League goal in nine appearances.

The former Wolves manager only lasted ten Premier League matches with Spurs, winning five and losing five.

But the measly manner in which Spurs were defeated against a vulnerable United side consigned Santo's fate, as he was shown the door barely 24 hours later.

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