Daniel Levy’s prize for winning Harry Kane battle is a year to prove Tottenham still mean business

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·4-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Harry Kane's thwarted attempts to leave Tottenham this summer, which ended on Wednesday, have damaged his clean public persona and his standing with the club's fans.

Kane made a series of missteps in a bid to force through a move to Manchester City, from suggesting his own asking price in an interview with Gary Neville to reporting late for pre-season training — later attempting to paint the decision as a misunderstanding.

The England captain was poorly advised and led on by City, while he believes Spurs chairman Daniel Levy reneged on a verbal agreement to listen to offers for him this summer.

His actions have nonetheless left a sour taste for many Spurs supporters, although he was welcomed back warmly by the travelling fans at Wolves on Sunday and should get a rousing reception at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for tonight's Europa Conference League play-off second leg against Pacos de Ferreira.

By contrast, for Kane's club and Levy the saga has unquestionably been a victory.

In a depressed market dominated by a handful of ultra-rich clubs, Spurs stood up to one of the wealthiest in Manchester City and came out on top in the PR war with their own home-grown hero.

 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

The club came to look wronged by Kane, who proved a lightning rod for supporter dissatisfaction, distracting from the widespread anger at Levy, whose reputation was at an all-time low at the end of last season.

The episode felt like a battle of wills between Kane and Levy, not least because the striker billed it that way in his interview with Neville in May.

"I'm sure that [Daniel] will want to set out the plan of where he sees it but ultimately it's going to be down to me and how I feel and what's going to be the best for me and my career this moment in time," Kane said as the pair strolled around a golf course for an episode of The Overlap podcast.

Ultimately, though, the decision was down to Levy, and while Kane was jeered by his own fans during the win over City, the chairman's resolve has offered a timely reminder of his strengths as a custodian following a series of disastrous decisions — from furloughing staff to rushing to join the Super League.

For Levy and Spurs, now is an opportunity to build on the capital of keeping Kane at the club by ensuring the decision comes to look justified.

A big part of supporters' frustration with Kane's behaviour this summer stemmed from an understanding of his desire to leave back in May, following two years of steady decline since the Champions League Final, during which Kane himself had only reached new heights.

Kane has some making up to do but if, as promised, he is "100 per cent focussed" this season, he will quickly win around supporters with the hard currency of goals.

After a dismal campaign last season, keeping Kane could even come to look like a missed opportunity to rebuild the squad if he continues to operate on a different stratosphere to the rest of the team.

And he could easily return to a more sympathetic light if Spurs do not build on their impressive start under Nuno Espirito Santo – whose side surprisingly emerged from their talisman's absence from the XI against City and Wolves with two 1-0 victories.

 (Action Images via Reuters)
(Action Images via Reuters)

The club have also made positive steps in the transfer window, recruiting three promising young players, but there is still significant work to do to revamp a tired and unbalanced squad before the end of the month.

Kane's desire to win silverware has not abated and his announcement that he was staying at Spurs pointedly referred to "this summer".

Spurs have, for now, essentially be put on notice that Kane could push to leave for a third summer in a row in 2022 — unless the club can convince him otherwise.

The club, in short, have a season to try to persuade Kane not to agitate for a move again, leaving the final week of the transfer window as a crucial period for the club.

Read More

Tottenham to play hardball with Kane over £400k-a-week deal demands

Nuno reveals the moment he discovered Harry Kane was staying at Spurs

How Tottenham are predicted to line-up against Pacos today

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting