TOTTENHAM boss Mauricio Pochettino should have given Harry Kane more time off before rushing him into Premier League duty this season.
Kane was superb for England at this summer’s World Cup, being crowned the Golden Boot winner as the Three Lions finished fourth.
The showpiece torment in Russia was the culmination of several years of consistent top-level football for Kane without a proper break.
The 25-year-old has continued his good form this season but fears are growing that he could burn himself out sooner rather than later due to his prolonged run of games.
He will likely face Liverpool at Wembley this weekend in Tottenham’s huge Premier League clash.
“He is nowhere near that level with his lack of training and conditioning”
Craig Bellamy on Tottenham star Harry Kane
But former Reds ace and now pundit Craig Bellamy is concerned for Kane and believes Pochettino has handled his star man wrong.
He told Sky Sports: “It’s difficult for Mauricio Pochettino.
“I love him as a manager, but he should have said ‘I am not using you, you need time off to rest, I am not going to use you for the next two or three games, so go on holiday, freshen up, because I want you for the rest of the season.’
“But he has had a couple of weeks off after the World Cup, come back into training and then straight into games.
“He’s gone straight into Premier League games with high intensity, and he is nowhere near that level with his lack of training and conditioning.”
Kane featured in both of England’s games over the international break and looked fatigued, especially in the 2-1 UEFA Nations League defeat to Spain last weekend.
Bellamy believes Gareth Southgate was also wrong not to hand the striker a much-needed rest.
He added: “England should have said ‘you did great for us at the World Cup, we can’t use you for the next two games. Spurs are not resting you so we are going to have to take that responsibility to thank Spurs for having you for the World Cup’.
“Something has to give because nature will take its course and Kane will get injured.
“If he carries on at this rate, with his lack of freshness – which makes him more high risk and vulnerable to injury – the decision will get made for Spurs and England where he could miss a couple of months with injury.
“He will get his rest then but it will be the wrong rest. He needs time off, he needs to stay away for a couple of weeks.”
Tottenham, who lost 2-1 to Watford last time out, host Liverpool on Saturday lunchtime.