Arsenal hero Paul Merson accuses Tottenham of being a 'one-man team'

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Arsenal icon Paul Merson has labelled Tottenham Hotspur a ‘one-man team’ in their bid to beat the Gunners to fourth in the Premier League this season. Antonio Conte’s side leapfrogged Arsenal into the top four after Sunday’s 5-1 rout against Newcastle United and are growing in confidence of a Champions League return.

Harry Kane’s return to form has been central to Tottenham’s revitalisation under Conte, registering seven goals and four assists in his last eight league games. And Merson believes Spurs’ hopes of a top-four finish would diminish without Kane in the side.

The 54-year-old has labelled Kane the ‘best centre-forward in the world’ and suggested Arsenal’s north London rivals rely on him showing up to achieve good results. He told Sky Sports: “You take Kane out of the team, [and] top four isn’t happening for Spurs. It’s as simple as that.

“When he doesn’t turn up at Burnley away, they get beaten. Tottenham are a one-man team, and that’s not being disrespectful. You could have a Ferrari, but without an engine in the car, it isn’t working. He’s the all-round package, and that’s why he’s the best centre-forward in the world, and I’ve said it for a long, long time.”

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Kane has scored 20 goals and provided seven assists in all competitions this season, despite an underwhelming start to the campaign under Nuno Espirito Santo. The 28-year-old has now scored 20 or more goals in all eight of his seasons as an established first-team player at Spurs.

However, claims that Conte solely relies on Kane’s contributions are far-fetched, considering only Mohamed Salah (20) has bettered Son Heung-min’s Premier League goals tally of 14 this term. Spurs boast quality throughout the team and are Arsenal’s closest challengers in the run-in.

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Mikel Arteta’s side are level on points after their dismal 3-0 defeat at Crystal Palace on Monday, trailing by five on goal difference, but hold a game in hand in the race for the top-four. The May 12 north London derby at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium bears the most significance for quite some time.

Kane’s Spurs future is unclear after his attempts to leave for Manchester City last summer, and the club’s Champions League status will be crucial in his decision. Arsenal will hope the England captain has an off-day when the visit next month, especially given his imperious record in the fixture.

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