Ahead of Crystal Palace's meeting with Tottenham on Saturday, manager Patrick Vieira has confessed to being a huge fan of striker Harry Kane, but was adamant that comparisons to former Arsenal team-mate Thierry Henry were wide of the mark.
Vieira played alongside Henry at Arsenal between 1997 and 2005, helping to turn the Gunners into one of the best teams in Europe. By the time Henry left the club in 2007, he was widely seen as arguably the greatest player the Premier League has ever seen.
Kane has already shattered Henry's goal record in the English top flight, but Vieira refused to put the Spurs man in the same bracket as the Frenchman, whom he insisted was on a 'different level' to anyone the league has ever seen.
“Kane can finish inside the box, outside the box, he can create chances. He is a modern number nine and can change position,” Vieira said (via talkSPORT). “But Thierry Henry, I am sorry he is in a different level. I love Kane, he is a fantastic player but Thierry is still Thierry.”
When pressed to elaborate, Vieira added (via The Independent): “Thierry could do everything.
He had pace, power, he could run in behind, could get the ball in his feet and dribble past three or four players and go to score the goal. Maybe because I played with Thierry, I see him in a different way.
“Maybe it’s easier for me to talk about Thierry than to talk about Kane. That’s something that you guys have to take into consideration as well! But I see Thierry as in the top three of all time.”
Vieira also revealed that there was a time in which he actually held talks over a controversial move to Tottenham. In 2009, four years after he left Arsenal, the former midfielder was looking to return to the Premier League, eventually joining Manchester City 12 months later.
“It is too far and a long time ago. I don’t remember,” Vieria said when asked about the negotiations with Spurs.
“No, that was a period where I really wanted to come back to the Premier League. Knowing Harry [Redknapp] quite well and admiring him as a manager, we had a conversation about different options but at the end there was no chance of me coming to England and going to Spurs, no chance.”
Source : 90min