London - Arsenal
manager Arsene Wenger put North London rivalries aside as he accepted
Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane is the most in-form striker in Europe on
Kane, 24, became the second fastest player to ever reach 100 Premier
League goals by netting his 31st of the season in just 32 games to
salvage a point for Spurs from a thrilling 2-2 draw at Liverpool last
"If you look at the numbers, no, because he has high numbers," Wenger
said when asked if there was a better striker in Europe at the moment
The England international spoke this week of how being released from
Arsenal's academy as an eight-year-old left him with a "chip on his
Kane has more than taken revenge with a fine record against Arsenal, scoring six goals in seven North London derbies.
Wenger broke Arsenal's transfer record last week to add more
firepower to the Gunners quest to beat Tottenham to a top-four finish by
splashing out £56 million on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
And the Frenchman is hoping his new front line of Aubameyang, Mesut
Ozil and Henrikh Mkhitaryan - who shone in a 5-1 thrashing of Everton
in their first outing together - can outgun Kane when the sides meet on
"I believe what you want in a game like that is to keep him quiet and for our strikers to express their talent."
More than local bragging rights are on offer with Arsenal trailing
fifth-placed Spurs by four points in the race for a return to the
Champions League place with just 12 Premier League games of the season
"It's a big game because we are behind in the table and we have to catch up," added Wenger.
"It is more important for us to come back mathematically than it is emotionally-charged."
Following their controversial draw at Anfield that saw Spurs win two
late penalties and Dele Alli booked for diving, Tottenham boss Mauricio
Pochettino defended his players by criticising the fixation with diving
in English football.
Yet Wenger, who also spoke out against Manchester City's England
international Raheem Sterling earlier this season, believes it is
English players who have become the "masters" of diving.
"I remember there were tremendous cases here when foreign players did
it but I must say the English players have learned very quickly and
they might even be the masters now."