SIMON Francis believes Harry Kane is fast-approaching the level of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo – and is relishing the challenge of stopping Tottenham’s on-fire frontman.

England international Kane has netted 15 goals in his past 10 appearances for club and country and has a superb scoring record against Cherries, registering six times in three games against Eddie Howe’s men.

The 24-year-old, linked with a move to Spanish giants Real Madrid this week, will hope to extend his stunning run of form when Cherries arrive at Wembley on Saturday (3pm).

Skipper Francis has never played at the national stadium before, one of his few trips being to watch brother-in-law Mark Gower come on as a substitute in Swansea’s Championship play-off final victory over Reading in 2011.

And the former Charlton and Southend defender is fully aware of the titanic task he and his fellow defenders face in attempting to subdue Kane.

Francis said: “For me, he’s up there, especially over the past couple of years. I’ve always said he is probably the best striker I’ve come up against in the Premier League.

“It’s a real test. He has got that ability and is quickly getting to a place where you can talk about him in the same breath as some of the top, world-class players.

“I’m thinking of Messi, Ronaldo, Suarez and Neymar. Just for his goalscoring record alone, you have to put him in that bracket.

“There are two ways to look at it. It’s great to be playing against those kind of players in the Premier League but also can you test yourself? How good are you when you come up against players like that?

“If you don’t enjoy and relish those challenges, you are in the wrong profession.

“The lads love those kind of games against big teams away from home. We’ve caused upsets before – we’ve had some of our biggest results away from home.

“It would be great to go to Wembley and put on a performance.”

Kane bagged a hat-trick when visitors Tottenham thrashed Cherries 5-1 in October 2015 – the teams’ first top-flight meeting – and added two more in a straightforward win at White Hart Lane the following March.

Absent for the stalemate at Vitality Stadium last season due to injury, Kane featured in the return clash and found the net in a 4-0 win.

“He’s not shy of scoring goals against us, that’s for sure,” added Francis.

“It’s our job to try to keep him quiet and I think if you keep Harry Kane quiet, you have a good chance of getting something because he is at the forefront of everything they do.

“He is pivotal for them so you have to watch out for him, there’s no doubt about that.”

Tottenham have lost just one of their 10 games in all competitions this season, taking 14 points from a possible 21 in the top flight.