A unfit Harry Kane started the Champions League final in which many a pundit wanted Lucas Moura to start instead of the England international. The fact that Kane had been injured since early April was no secret and even Virgil Van-Dijk anticipated his fitness to be below par.
Pochettino took a chance by playing Kane from the start, who was recovering from an ankle injury. However, it showed that an unfit Harry Kane is not a match for one of the best defenders in the league this season. It seems Van-Dijk had been preparing to face a less than fully-fit Kane in the final. If the result is anything to go by, his preparation worked while Pochettino got nothing out of Kane.
In an interview given before the Nations League semi-final between England and Netherlands, Van-Dijk has spoken his mind about the final and coming head to head with England’s star striker, albeit unfit.
Van-Dijk anticipated unfit Kane to make less of an impact than he normally does
If Van-Dijk is to be believed, he knew it would be Kane who plays the final for Tottenham and not Lucas Moura. Harry Kane is a handful for even the best defenders but an unfit Harry Kane is easy dealing for the best defender in the league this season. Here’s what Virgil Van-Dijk had to say after the match about facing an unfit striker:
“Harry Kane is a fantastic striker, I think one of the best in England. And I think he’s definitely the best striker England have for the national team,” Van Dijk said.
”But I also know that if you’re not 100 per cent fit, then it’s going to be in your head if you get a little knock or you pass and you get a little bit of pain.
”It’s going to be in your head, so obviously I expected him to play the final, but I knew he was not going to be 100 per cent.
– Virgil Van-Dijk via SBNation
So the two opponents will square off once again if Kane plays for England. Expect him to play because he would surely want to prove a point to Van-Dijk and his Netherlands team-mates.