RATCHABURI, Thailand — Former Tottenham and Germany wing-back Christian Ziege says Spurs should look ahead to a life after Harry Kane and plan for his succession as rumours continue to link him with Real Madrid among other clubs.
Ziege was speaking from Thailand, where he has just been appointed as head coach of Ratchaburi in the Thai League.
The 45-year-old, who spent three years at Tottenham from 2001-2004, said that it would be tough for Spurs to replace their talisman, who already has 18 Premier League goals to his name this season, and warned his former club that now would be a good time to consider who is going to take his place if he decides to move on.
“Obviously, he’s scoring goals for fun,” Ziege told ESPN FC. “He’s a strong striker and it depends a bit on him and if he wants to leave.
“He has the option to change [clubs] in the Premier League or if he wants to have experience away from the Premier League. At some stage, if he wants to move on, it will be difficult to keep him.
“But you should always think that one player does not make a club. Obviously, he’s a good player, but it’s always the same story. For example, you can lose a fantastic goalkeeper and then all of sudden, you find a new one.
“In this case, Spurs might lose a great striker and then find a new one. There’s always coming and going and a chance for the next one who’s coming.”
Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino said on Thursday that Spurs will ‘see what happens’ amid Real’s interest in Kane, while Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero backed the English striker to flourish in La Liga.
Meanwhile, Ziege — who won Bundesliga titles with Bayern Munich, the European Championship with Germany, and also played for Middlesbrough, Liverpool and AC Milan — now finds himself at Thai club Ratchaburi as he looks to build a career in management.
“One year after I stopped playing football, I decided to become a coach or at least try to become a coach and I was lucky enough to train the youth team at Borussia Monchengladbach,” Ziege said.
“I also had a chance to coach the German national youth teams for three years. All over the world now, there are more and more coaches and places to be a coach.
“I like to be a coach and that’s the reason I moved to Spain [with Atletico Baleares] two years ago.
“And now I talked [with Ratchaburi] and I was convinced that I have the chance to train the team, and I love to train a team. It’s a good opportunity, and I’m looking forward to it.”
Ziege will come up against another former Tottenham player in the Thai League, with Gary Stevens head coach at Ubon UMT United.
His side will also face ex-Liverpool striker Florent Sinama-Pongolle, who returns to Thailand’s top tier with Chainat FC in 2018.
Bangkok-based Paul Murphy has lived in Asia for a decade, writing for ESPN FC since 2014. He is a former Daily Express sub-editor. @PaulMurphyBKK