What do the back pages and defenders have in common? Harry Kane is all over them!
However, it is now no joke for defenders with the 24-year-old Spurs forwards’ superb scoring run now extending to thirteen goals by the end of September. This incredible feat is raising the question – can he go on to join the great forwards of the game? Ronaldo, Messi, Ibrahimovic and…Kane?
The 2016/17 season had been a real standout one for Kane and consequently Tottenham, who managed to finish second in the Premier League. With Harry’s hat-tricks becoming a regular occurrence, it is no wonder that he managed to hit the net with 29 goals over the course of the season – helping him on his way to a second consecutive Golden Boot Award.
Since breaking into Tottenham’s first team in 2011 and, ironically, having his first penalty effort saved, Kane has subsequently developed into one of the most talked about and formidable striking forces in the English Premier League.
The fear that haunts many Tottenham fans is that Kane’s story so closely resembles that of Gareth Bale. Both talents given their chance to shine at Spurs, both talismanic strikers and now both destined to become Galactico team-mates?
For teams that hone players from a young age, there comes a time when they must decide whether or not to cash in when bigger clubs come knocking. Kane’s abilities have already raised interest from clubs outside of the English Premier League; inevitably gaining public admiration from the Spanish giants.
Kane’s impact over the previous seasons has mirrored that of players like the ex-Liverpool striker, Luis Suarez and Spurs’ Bale. This has led observers to speculate that, like those two before him, Kane will pack his bags and head to Spain to play for Real Madrid or Barcelona.
This seemingly inevitable next step for Kane has become all the more realistic with rumours again swirling around on Tuesday over a possible €200 million transfer to Real Madrid, which Kane himself has yet to rule out. Whatever he decides, Real Madrid certainly seem ready to pay him their ultimate accolade – breaking transfer records to secure his signature.
Kane’s progress to date has been impressive, resulting in increased responsibilities for club and country. Kane is vying for the England captaincy with Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson, and by vice-captaining Tottenham, it is clear he is now not only highly regarded on the pitch, but crucially, in the dressing room too. This is central in moving to the top tier as a player’s player. Reputation is often what splits the top strikers from the rest.
Luis Suarez for instance won the Premier League Golden Boot and the European Golden Shoe in the 2012/13 season yet his reputation will always be tarnished due to the controversy he has attracted. Thus, despite Suarez’s high skill level, Kane is now arguably viewed as the better player in the public’s eye.
In today’s footballing world, a player’s worth is often dictated by statistics, so it’s worth looking at where Kane sits in relation to world stars in these. For instance, the goals per game ratio is something that allows for players from all leagues to be ranked against one and other. In La Liga 2016/17, Cristiano Ronaldo’s goal ratio was 0.86, with Lionel Messi gaining an astonishing ratio of 1.09. Many will be surprised to find that Kane sits proudly on the halfway line between the two elite strikers with 0.97 goals per match.
If Kane makes the move to Madrid in the January transfer window, then it is likely he will only continue to excel as a forward. Right now, he is one of England’s finest, in a short time he could become the world’s best.
Image courtesy of John Parish