Harry Kane’s importance to Tottenham is as important as the impact Lionel Messi has had during his Barcelona career, according to Clement Lenglet.
French defender Lenglet is well known to Messi for playing alongside him at Camp Nou and also against the Argentine great during his spell at Sevilla.
Messi was a one-club man until the start of the 2021-22 season, when Barca’s perilous financial situation saw him move to Paris Saint-Germain.
The superstar striker became the club’s all-time top scorer and seven-time Ballon d’Or winner at Barca, as he boasts 10 La Liga titles and four Champions League medals among a plethora of honors won with Los Cules.
While Kane is yet to medal with Spurs, Lenglet – who joined Tottenham from Barca on loan last transfer window – has spoken of the impact he is having on the club.
In quotes reported by the Daily Mail, Lenglet said: “When you stay in one place for a long time and achieve so many good things with the club, it means you are part of this club.
“Your face is connected to the club. For me, Messi is still a Barca player.
“For Harry it’s the same. It’s hard to think of Harry in another country or playing for another team. Tottenham is a great club, Harry is a great player and Harry is a big part of Tottenham.
“We talk about the player a lot and that’s important because we’re players but I give the same importance to who he is as a guy. He’s an incredible example for all his team-mates.”
Describing what it’s like to play with and against Messi, Lenglet added: “You are playing with the greatest player in the world in my opinion.
“He helps you improve every day. I played with him [for Barca] and against him for Sevilla, it’s better with him!”
Lenglet has made just three Premier League starts for Spurs this season but said all it took was a short chat with boss Antonio Conte to persuade him to move to north London, where he is adjusting always to a new way of life.
“We talked about a lot of things. [Conte] told me that if I came here I would improve because the league is so competitive, you have to be ready and focused in every game” said Lenglet.
“He said if I came here I would be happy because I would improve as a football player and it was a good decision.
“It’s a different culture, a different way of working. I was in Spain for six years. You work one way, you think one way, the football is the same. Now you come to England – different league, different intensity, different way of working, it’s a good way to improve.
Tottenham sit third in the Premier League and are set to bounce back from their Manchester United loss to Newcastle United on Sunday.