Tottenham boss Antonio Conte hopes the club can keep Harry Kane satisfied after his striker put in another standout display in the 5-1 thrashing of Newcastle.
The England captain did not score, but notched another assist and again showcased his exquisite passing range as Spurs enhanced their top-four chances in the Premier League.
After falling behind to Fabian Schar’s first-half free-kick, goals from Ben Davies, Matt Doherty, Son Heung-min, Emerson Royal and Steven Bergwijn moved them above north London rivals Arsenal, who visited Crystal Palace on Monday night.
Kane is going to be key to where Spurs end up, but even if he helps deliver Champions League qualification his future is sure to come under renewed speculation in the summer.
Conte says that Kane deserves the best and hopes they can “continue together”.
“I am happy for him because we are talking about a world-class striker,” the Italian said.
“He deserves the best because he is a great worker, a hard worker, this is not normal. Normally the player that has talent doesn’t like to work hard.
“In my career I didn’t have a great talent and for this reason I worked hard. What I liked from him from the first time was his availability of him, he was a big example for his team-mates of him.
“When you see him work in this way, for sure you have the desire to work and work very hard. For this reason I want to thank him, he is always a great example for everything and I hope to give him satisfaction.
“I think he is now enjoying playing this type of football and we have to try to continue together. I am seeing many players with great improvement.”
Kane, along with Son and Dejan Kulusevski, have spearheaded an upturn in results, which has seen Spurs win five of their last six league games.
While Arsenal still have games in hand, Spurs are firmly in the top-four race
“I have seen my team that is now in the race because I have seen great improvement,” the Italian said.
“In this race there are other teams that maybe are in this moment they have an advantage and I think Arsenal has to play two games. Don’t forget (Manchester) United, an amazing squad. West Ham, Wolverhampton are having a fantastic season and this league is very, very difficult but I’m happy because hard work is paying off.
“Now we have to be happy, also tomorrow, but then from Tuesday when we start to work we think about an important game against Aston Villa.
“It won’t be easy to go there and take a good result but we have eight games, eight finals for us, and every game it will be very important to get points and continue to dream to finish in the Champions League this season. ”
Things started well for Newcastle as they contained Spurs and then went ahead in the 38th minute as Schar struck a low free-kick.
But things quickly went south as Spurs leveled only four minutes later and then went ahead three minutes after the restart, prompting a four-goal glut in the second half.
Boss Eddie Howe, whose side sits nine points clear of the relegation zone, believes the second goal was a key moment and was unhappy with how his players chased the game.
He said: “First half I thought we did very well. was hugely disappointed to go in 1-1.
“The key goal is the second goal. The manner of it was really disappointing. Then we chased the game in a very aggressive way and played in a way we probably shouldn’t have done. We played in an expansive way too early in the game and were punished by a top-level team.
“I felt we chased the game far too early. We became very expansive. We were taking risks in areas that we shouldn’t have done. We committed too many men forward.
“I’m being careful not to go too over the top with my criticism. But we need to be smarter. It was in our desire to get back into the game.
“What’s to come is a key week for us. We’re in a position that we didn’t expect to be in. Maybe this is a little jolt that we can’t get ahead of ourselves.
“There was no doubt that was ever the case (that we’re in a relegation battle) in my mind. We have a lot of work ahead of us. We have to be very calm.”