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(Reuters) - In his last three Premier League campaigns, Harry Kane recorded just eight assists for Tottenham Hotspur but he is already up to a league-high nine assists this season, with the record of 20 well within his sights.
From being the spearhead of Spurs' attack, Kane's role has taken on a new dimension this season and the two-times Golden Boot winner has now become the fulcrum around which Jose Mourinho's side pivots in the final third.
The England striker recently scored his 200th Spurs goal but he has traded his shooting boots to turn provider this season and it was on display again as the north London club beat Manchester City 2-0 on Saturday.
Kane dropped deep to draw out City's defenders for Son Heung-min's early opener and again to slip through the final pass for Giovani Lo Celso to score the second that lifted Spurs to the top of the standings.
Kane dropping into midfield to create space for team mates has been a ploy used many times this season and the striker's evolution into a 'false nine' has also allowed Son to flourish, with the South Korean leading the league with nine goals.
"Holding up the ball trying to buy time... winning fouls, being strong and trying to bring others into play," Kane told Sky Sports while explaining his new role.
"On the counter, if I'm the one dropping deep then I know I've got runners in behind."
No Mourinho team is complete without players working hard off the ball and Kane led from the front, pressing his opponents to regain possession and finished with three successful tackles against City.
"It's a season where you've got to do all it takes to win games," Kane added. "Part of my job is to work hard for the team, win tackles, obviously score goals and get assists but I enjoy defending.
"The feeling now after the game once you've put in a great shift, there's no better."
(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Lincoln Feast.)