Jose Mourinho explained that Tottenham Hotspur will try to have a more balanced team after the summer transfer window and believes that his wings will have learned a lot from the absence of Harry Kane.
Kane returned to outdoor rehabilitation work earlier this week, ahead of schedule, and Mourinho is confident of getting the striker back before his initial May forecast.
In his absence Son Heung-min, Lucas Moura and Steven Bergwijn all alternated in the role of central striker, with Spurs losing Son by a broken elbow.
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Mourinho believes that the likes of Son and Bergwijn will have learned more about their game as aliens by replacing Kane.
“You can always learn. And in this job, I think that the accumulation of experiences, if you think about it, not only to accumulate but to think about that accumulation of experiences, is only improving you,” he said.
“I think with the players, it’s a bit the same. For example, for Lucas, for Bergwijn, for these wings that play the way they play, and they will probably play until the end of the season, it will make them better players when they come to the internal.
“They are normally external players, they are players who normally play in the corridor. Right now, they are learning with difficulties, they are learning to play inside.
“So I think they’ll be better in the future, because they can mix their game in the hallway and their game when they get to the central areas. So it’s an accumulation of experience, sometimes very difficult.
“It would be easier for us to have Kane, Son and Sissoko plus Lucas, Lamela and Bergwijn but I think we will have to see the positive side in the end.”
For Bergwijn and Lucas they will now better understand the movement of Kane and Mourinho has indicated the young defender Japhet Tanganga as an example of understanding other positions on the field through their experience.
“They have to learn. That’s what I’m saying, they have to learn, instead of being quite automatic when you were born with a wing and you die with a wing, do your whole career,” explained boss Spurs.
“When you make your whole career playing hundreds and hundreds of games in the same position you become a specialist, but it is quite automatic.
“We are talking about a young boy, but Tanganga’s experience in his training at the club has been as a central defender. Now he has played with me left back, he has played right back, he has played as central defender in the last 20 minutes against Chelsea, but out of three.
“This is an accumulation of experience. This is what I call tactical culture. A football player is not only concerned with technical quality or physical condition. It has a lot to do with tactical culture.
“Our wings will be better when they return to their normal position.”
Tottenham has been criticized for not replacing Fernando Llorente in the summer, with the Spanish expert leaving the club at the end of his contract.
Mourinho was asked if Kane and Son’s injuries would make the club look like a new striker this summer.
“Another striker to compete with Kane isn’t easy. It’s very difficult,” admitted Mourinho.
“Our team even without a number two for Kane is a team that can respond to problems. Last season, when Harry was injured, the team managed to respond.
“Okay, I know that Llorente played some games, but they had Son, they had Lamela, they had Sissoko, they had Lucas.
“Our problem went to the limit, our team went to the limit because of Kane, Sissoko and Son. If it were Kane, a left back and a right back, our problems will not be of this size.
“But we are looking for next season to make a better team than us, a team with more balance, a team that can respond to these unpredictable things that can happen.
“It’s also a bit like the third goalkeeper. The third goalkeeper never plays. But in some clubs, in some moments, the third goalkeeper has to play.
“It happened to Chelsea where I lost the first and second goalkeepers in the same game and the third goalkeeper had to play the next game. The next game was Chelsea Barcelona in the Champions League. So sometimes extreme things, you know? “
Much has been done about Kane returning too early in the past and not looking. Asked if this time it was a fear again, Mourinho spoke of the striker’s controversial return from last season.
“Are you talking about the Champions League final? I would play with one leg if I was a player and I was playing in a Champions League final, on crutches!” He said.
“How can you prevent a player from playing in a Champions League final? Each player breaks the protocols to play a Champions League final or a cup final. There are some games where the protocols mean nothing, nothing.
“So if that were the case, I don’t think it’s appropriate to blame Harry or the medical departments. It’s just the nature of football.”
The Spurs chief said everyone will be realistic about Kane’s return this season with euros this summer in line with the England captain.
“This is what we will be [realistic]. Tottenham doesn’t end, it doesn’t end in May, “he said.
“There will be Tottenham for many, many years, so we would never risk Harry in a difficult situation, no chance. He will return when he is ready to return.”