Newcastle striker Chris Wood admits Harry Kane looked far from a future world-beater when they played together at Leicester. Wood was speaking as part of a new Warner Bros. Discovery series, World at their Feet.
On loan from Tottenham, Kane arrived in the midlands in 2013 as Leicester were putting together a promotion charge, trying to escape from the Championship.
Speaking to Eurosport, Wood says the man preparing to lead England at the World Cup in Qatar showed plenty of promise on the training field, but was unable to perform when it really mattered in his early days.
“He had all the ability in the world. Left foot, right foot, finishing was a joke. He was class like that. It was then putting it into game situations for him,” he said.
Wood and Kane were both on the scoresheet in a 3-0 win against Blackburn in Kane’s second game for the club, but it would be another 10 games before the loanee would find the net again with what was, ultimately, his last goal for Leicester.
The season ended in heartbreak for Leicester, with Watford’s Troy Deeney scoring a dramatic late winner in the second leg of their play-off semi-final – a game in which Kane replaced Wood with half an hour to play.
Harry Kane celebrates scoring for Leicester
Image credit: Getty Images
With no play-off final to play, that proved to be Kane’s final appearance before returning to White Hart Lane for a summer which Wood thinks proved to be the turning point for the man who has gone on to become a record-breaker for both club and country.
“I think when he went back from Leicester was when it clicked for him at Tottenham. He got given a chance and he grabbed it with both hands and turned into the monster and the beast of a scoring machine he is today,” he said.
Wood enjoyed his time working with Kane and said he was a “fantastic player. Great man. Nice humble guy. [He] was a brilliant guy when I knew him at Leicester and he continues to be so.
“It wasn’t clear that he was going to be as good as he is. If not probably the best striker the Premier League has ever seen potentially in the future,” he said.