Mauricio Pochettino says Armando Broja reminds him of a young Harry Kane in the biggest hint yet that the Chelsea boss wants to keep the striker at Stamford Bridge.
Broja, 22, has made 13 Premier League appearances this season having returned from a major knee injury suffered last season.
Despite Chelsea’s shortage of options up front, the Albania international is among those strongly linked with a move away this month.
As an academy graduate, selling Broja would serve as one of Chelsea’s easiest means of balancing the books to comply with financial fair play rules with such sales regarded as 100 per cent profit in the eyes of regulators.
Wolves, Fulham and West Ham United are all keen to sign the striker but Pochettino regards him as a huge young talent, comparing his situation to that of Kane who only began to truly shine at Spurs after spells away from Tottenham on loan.
‘All the biggest strikers needed time when they were young,’ Pochettino said, speaking ahead of Friday’s FA Cup clash against Aston Villa.
‘They need to find their own balance. But I still believe that he has the potential to be an amazing striker.
‘The process takes time. I always compare it to Harry Kane. He went on loan to Leyton Orient, Norwich and spent time finding his real balance. In our first six months, he started to perform only in December and January, and that’s when we started to see his real potential.
‘He’s a player that suffered a big injury last season, he needs to put that big idea behind him, always that is difficult. And we are at Chelsea, he is trying to deliver while compared with the biggest strikers like [Didier] Drogba, [Jimmy Floyd] Hasselbaink or others. That’s always difficult for a young guy.’
While Broja’s future is under intense speculation, Pochettino insists his player must learn to deal with it if he is to reach the heights of players such as Kane.
‘It is part of the business, part of football. If you want to be at Chelsea… When you perform well and score goals, you are there; if you’re not scoring, you are there. If you play, you are there. But if you’re not playing, you’re there.
‘In the end, you can’t escape. If we want all the benefits of being in this football club, Chelsea, we need to accept that it is a massive responsibility, and this can happen. You are always going to be judged. It is normal. It is our job.
‘If you want to be in this business and play football, take the responsibility to play, you need to accept that this is the business. If you’re a coach, staff member, or player and can’t deal or cope with the pressure, it is difficult to be at the top. You can play football, but maybe not at this level.’