Tottenham acting head coach Ryan Mason believes Harry Kane’s greatness will only be celebrated when he retires.
Kane helped Spurs respond after last weekend’s humiliation at Newcastle with a superb second-half display to earn a 2-2 draw at home to Manchester United on Thursday.
Stand-in captain Kane was at his talismanic best, dropping deep and creating chance after chance before Son Heung-min levelled from his cross to salvage a point after Tottenham had trailed by two goals at half-time.
While the United fans chanted they would see Kane in June, amid ongoing speculation over his future, the majority of rival supporters and pundits alike ridicule the England skipper’s lack of trophies.
But Mason said: “It’s probably natural, I think we say that about all our great players.
“Maybe in 10 years we’ll look back and we’ll say what a great player Harry really was and that we probably should have celebrated him more while we were enjoying watching him play football.
“I’ve always been quite consistent on that. I played with him, I saw it and I felt what kind of player he was.
“It probably doesn’t get spoken about enough but off the pitch, we’re talking about someone who has acted in the right way for over a decade now.
“There have been no problems, no negativity, no scandals and that says a lot for me. I know Harry very well and I know his family very well as well. He’s an example of what I’d want any young kid to look up to.”
Kane wore the armband on Thursday in the absence of Spurs captain Hugo Lloris, who will also miss Sunday’s trip to Liverpool with a hip injury.
Mason talked up his leadership ability and reflected on the growth of the 29-year-old since they came through the Tottenham academy together.
“I was fortune enough to come through the academy, we played together and to be on the other side now and watching as a coach, it’s a pleasure.
“I’ve thought that many times in the last couple of seasons. To watch him live, this country should appreciate we’ve got a real special talent.
“He’s our best player, I don’t think I’m out of order saying that because he is our best player and he is a leader.
“There are many different ways as he’s a technical leader, he’s a leader in terms of his mannerisms, how he carries himself, the example that he sets.
“Sometimes we don’t probably speak about that enough because he’s not the most loud and outspoken person, but we know what type of leader we’ve got.
“We know what type of character we’ve got and when you put in performances like he did (against Man United) that can influence games, that’s the best type of leader that you can get.”
Mason’s buzzword ahead of his second spell in caretaker charge was togetherness and he admitted that had been lacking at times this season.
He said: “The focus is on what is best for this club. That is my priority.
“Trying to create togetherness and make everyone feel like we’re together, inside and outside of these walls, is the most important thing.
“At times this season that has probably not been the case and when that is not the case that can affect results on the football pitch and we’ve seen that at times this year.”