Tim Sherwood insists he had to convince Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy to resist a £600k offer for Harry Kane during his time as manager.
The former Blackburn Rovers midfielder lasted just six months as Spurs boss before Levy sacked him but he can be credited for helping to introduce Kane into the first team.
In April 2014, Sherwood gave Kane his first Premier League start in a 5-1 victory over Sunderland with the England international scoring his first Premier League goal in the 59th minute.
Kane is already Tottenham’s all-time top goalscorer and England’s joint-highest all-time top goalscorer at the age of 29 with reports claiming he could leave Tottenham in the summer in his search for silverware.
On why he gave Kane his debut, Sherwood told talkSPORT: “I just saw a boy with a lot of ability, but most of all a mental capacity that is second to none.
“[He had] a drive to want to improve and want to earn the opportunity to play in the first team.
“On my watch, he earned that over a period of a couple weeks I just knew there was no way I could leave him out anymore and I told him he was going to play and the rest is history.”
When asked whether Levy was happy for Sherwood to start Kane over more experienced strikers like Jermain Defoe and Emmanuel Adebayor, Sherwood added: “Yeah, but I think it was driven by Franco Baldini, who was the sporting director there.
“I remember telling Harry he was going to play, it was on the Friday before the game against Crystal Palace on the Saturday and [Baldini] asked me to come see [Levy] with him.
“So we sat down and Daniel asked me what the team was on Saturday, so I wasted my time telling him what the back four was and the midfield.
“As soon as I got to Harry he was asking me why certain, more experienced players weren’t ahead of him, and I said he’d earned the right.”
The former Tottenham boss continued: “It was a tough conversation, I think Daniel genuinely trusted my judgement on players but he was obviously getting told by someone else this player possibly wasn’t good enough for the Premier League.
“Tottenham wanted players good enough for the Premier League and the Champions League. It was obviously Franco Baldini getting in his ear and telling him he wasn’t good enough.
“They had a bid lined up from Leicester to sell him for £600k which I obviously resisted. There was no way I was letting the boy going for that. He’d have eaten £600k worth of food since joining the club at ten [years old].”
When asked if Levy was keen on selling Kane, Sherwood added: “I don’t know if he was prepared [to sell him], but he and Baldini put it to me that this is what was on the table.
“But in the end Daniel had to trust someone, and the trust came from Harry getting in the team and subsequently scoring three in three games.
“I think he realised either the price tag has got to go up or maybe this kid is good enough for the first-team and that was the case eventually.”