Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers believes Tottenham’s trust in home-grown talent has become a major factor in their Champions League push.
Striker Harry Kane has burst to prominence at White Hart Lane in recent months, taking his goal total for the season to 22 by scoring twice in Saturday’s 2-1 victory over north London rivals Arsenal.
But Rodgers has also been impressed by the emergence of midfielder Ryan Mason, another key figure in the weekend’s win, who is establishing himself as a Spurs regular after spending much of the previous five seasons out on loan at various clubs.
Both players were born not far from White Hart Lane — 21-year-old Kane in Chingford, 23-year-old Mason in Enfield — and Rodgers thinks they have played a key role in Tottenham’s improvement.
It is also why Rodgers believes that, even Liverpool have won their last three meetings with Spurs 5-0, 4-0 and 3-0, Tuesday’s match is a much tougher prospect.
He said: “The big difference for me, from seeing them back then to the way they are now, is the introduction of two home-grown players.
“Ryan Mason has been outstanding in the middle of the field. He’s a good passer of the ball, a good mover, a very good technical player.
“Harry Kane up front has shown all his life that he’s a finisher. He’s got different types of finishes.
Harry Kane has been Tottenham’s breakout star this season with 22 goals.
“When you play a pressure game, you need your striker to run and press, and he leads the line very well in that aspect.
“For all the players that may come in or out of clubs, we see it’s the home grown talents who can make a big difference. And those two have made a significant difference to Tottenham.”
Rodgers acknowledged that Liverpool will have to pay special attention to Kane, but also wants his team to improve their own scoring record.
He said: “”You have to pay attention to his threat. He can get different types of goals. He’s very good around the box, and he wants to score goals.