Since his first Premier League start in April, the speed of Kane’s recent meteoric rise has surpassed all expectations. Currently the joint top goalscorer in the Premier League, the jewel in the crown of Tottenham’s Academy has stunned and enchanted in equal measure.
In doing so, he has amassed a hugely passionate following where illustrious names like David Beckham are held in the same rapturous glee as many a football hipster, keen to suggest they knew of him from ‘the forums’ back in 2013.
The 21-year-old, who cut his teeth in the Under-17 and Under-21 England squads, is now nigh on certain to be called up to play for his country in March, capping off a frankly astounding year for a modest boy who grew up near Chingford.
It seems of late that in the frenzied attempt to jump on the Kane bandwagon a fierce conflict about who controls his legacy has been ignited before it has even begun.
Spurs have undoubtedly taken him to heart. Even if they weren’t singing proudly that he is “one of their own”, the ‘Citizen Kane’ t-shirts prove he has been well and truly institutionalised at Spurs.
However, Arsenal fans have been keen to point out the young striker was, in fact, a Junior Gunner at the tender age of 10. Few mention Arsenal went on to reject him. Such unnecessary quibbling over where his true roots lie seems futile given Kane entered the Tottenham ranks aged only 11. Nevertheless, Kane is a player that is easy to become possessive over.
His exceptional work rate, incendiary athleticism and marauding flexibility when it comes to his position means he truly is the embodiment of what fans look for in a player. The accuracy of his passing makes him a great asset to any team, while his confidence as a lone striker belies his years.
Yet the most impressive aspect of the striker is his passion and eagerness to learn and improve. Perhaps he is a little slow, but this flaw is more than made up for by his spacial awareness. As Pochettino previously noted, football is played by both “the heart and the brain.” Harry Kane’s heart beats as if created purely for the purpose of playing football.
Whilst it is all too easy to panegyrise the many varied talents of a young home-grown player with such massive potential, it is important to put the exceptional Londoner’s extensive skills in context.
Kane owes a great deal to Tottenham. Pochettino’s strong interest in young players allows Kane to grow in both technique and confidence. Relative calm in the White Heart Lane dressing room of late ensures that Kane can concentrate on his game without his focus being broken by warring egos. He has become more vocal, now seen addressing the team in pre-match huddles.
Bar his time in the national youth team and a smattering of lower league clubs, Kane is still relatively inexperienced. It remains unclear whether the exuberant striker could continue to perform consistently at the same level at a team like Real Madrid with the inevitably greater expectations he would face. Similar doubts surface in relation to playing for England, where clashing personalities have proved problematic in the past.
Kane may well turn out to be the real deal if allowed to continue to benefit from the nurturing opportunities that Spurs seem to be bringing at present. In the desperate clamour to sing the praises of England’s Harry Kane we must be careful not to forget his relative youth and experience.
If he continues to improve at this rate, perhaps Kane’s future lies at a club with greater opportunities, surrounded by the best of the best. For now though, so long as Pochettino remains faithful to his philosophy, Harry Kane’s talent is best served at Tottenham.