Harry Kane well on way to being Spurs legend - Mauricio Pochettino
Hat-trick hero Harry Kane is already well on his way to becoming a Tottenham legend, according to manager Mauricio Pochettino.
Kane scored his second treble in a week, and third in nine matches, as Spurs hammered Stoke 4-0 to move up to second in the Premier League table.
Dele Alli added the fourth before half-time as Tottenham reduced the gap behind Chelsea to 10 points and pulled four clear of Liverpool in fifth.
Kane continues to rack up impressive numbers at White Hart Lane.
His first against Stoke was his 100th career goal at club level and means he is the first Spurs player since Jimmy Greaves to score 20 in three consecutive seasons.
The Tottenham academy graduate is also on course to retain his Premier League Golden Boot award, sitting tied at the top of the charts with Alexis Sanchez on 17.
Kane's record is all the more impressive given he missed seven weeks at the start of the season with an ankle injury and Pochettino believes his star striker is already writing his name into Spurs folklore.
"I think Harry has it all and the profile to be a legend here, if he has not already started to be a legend here with the goals he is scoring," Pochettino said.
"With how he behaves, how professional he is, how like a man he is - he has the perfect profile to be a legend here at Tottenham."
Kane's league tally this season puts him two ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo, one behind Luis Suarez and only two back on the likes of Lionel Messi, Robert Lewandowski and Gonzalo Higuain.
"I think yes, he is one of the best strikers in Europe," Pochettino said.
"I am very pleased for him, he deserves it, he is very professional, a top man and I am very happy.
"It is not new for me. It does not surprise me because I have said many times he is one of the best strikers in the world."
Kane is Tottenham's vice-captain and a leading figure in the dressing room but Pochettino insists the 23-year-old is not always whiter than white.
"He has his character," Pochettino said. "Sometimes Harry, he argues with me, sometimes he is upset with me, sometimes he is happy with me or with us.
"He has a strong character. His personality is what he shows on the pitch and the behaviour he showed today."
Alli, another fiery personality, gained some redemption by scoring his 13th of the season, three days after being sent off against Gent in the Europa League.
"I gave him love, more love than normal," Pochettino said.
"He is very mature. He showed today a big maturity. I am very happy for him because he was very sad, very disappointed.
"He is only 20 years old and I would protect him always. I would support him always. For me he is one of the best young players in the world too and always we protect him.
"His character and the way he behaves, yes sometimes he can make mistakes, but I want him on the pitch and I want him next to me."
The only blot on an otherwise perfect afternoon for Spurs was that defenders Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen both came off in the second half with injuries.
Pochettino, however, said both were substituted as a precaution and he is optimistic they will be available to face Everton next weekend.
"Both asked to leave the pitch more for caution than problems," Pochettino said.
"I hope in a few days they can start again to work with the group, we will play next Sunday and they will have time enough to recover."
Stoke, meanwhile, stay 10th and their season looks in danger of fizzling out given they are 11 points clear of the relegation zone but 16 behind sixth-placed Manchester United.
The defeat also continues a miserable run against the league's top six, from whom they have now taken just two points from eight fixtures this term.
"We expected more than that," manager Mark Hughes said.
"At times we were a little bit awestruck maybe. We gave them too much respect and as a consequence they picked us off."