Harry Kane expressed is gratitude to former coach Mauricio Pochettino. Photo: Dylan Martinez/Reuters

LONDON  Tottenham Hotspur captain Harry Kane and midfielder Dele Alli led the tributes to Mauricio Pochettino on Wednesday following his sacking as Spurs manager.

Pochettino leaves the club after five and a half years in charge and was immediately replaced by former Chelsea and Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho.

Kane paid tribute to Pochettino, who led Spurs to the Champions League final last season and top-four finishes in the Premier League in each of the past four years.

"Gaffer. I'll be forever thankful to you for helping me achieve my dreams," England captain Kane said on Twitter. 

"We've had some amazing moments in the last 5 and a half years that I will never forget. You were my manager but my friend as well and I thank you for that relationship. Good luck with your next chapter!"

Like Kane, Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli posted a photo of himself and Pochettino and expressed his gratitude.

"I can't thank this man enough," he said on Twitter. "He's taught me so much and I'm so grateful for everything he's done for me. Good luck and hope to see you again my friend."

Former England captain Alan Shearer said Pochettino would be a tough act to follow.

"I was suprised by Pochettino's sacking, you would think what he has achieved in the five years - turning them into regular top-four contenders and visitors to the knockout stages of the Champions League - that he would have something in the bank, that he would be given a few months to turn things around," he told the BBC.

"Mourinho has been waiting for a big job and now has got one (but) he has big boots to fill to try and better what Pochettino has done.

"The Argentine may not have won a trophy but the way that Pochettinho delivered his football and that Champions League final was very special and will live with Spurs fans for many years."

dpa