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Any fears Harry Kane would be sulking after admitting defeat in his battle to join Manchester City were quickly dispelled last night.
Kane scored twice on his return to the team as Tottenham overturned a first-leg deficit against Pacos de Ferreira to reach the Europa Conference League group stage.
A day after ending his messy attempt to leave, Kane struck after nine minutes and got a second before the break.
After an own goal in the second half had sealed Tottenham’s passage through this play-off tie, Kane was substituted to a standing ovation and chants of “Harry Kane, he’s one of our own” when his number went up with 18 minutes to go.
Yes, it was only the Europa Conference League but, in scoring twice, Kane set himself on the path to redemption.
Tougher tests lie ahead for him and Spurs over the coming weeks but a first start of the season last night before facing Watford on Sunday ahead of the international break was perhaps as welcoming of a return as Kane could ask for.
It was not just his two goals that marked his efforts to win back the hearts of those supporters who have been left upset by his behaviour this summer.
These low-key occasions are not the sort of European nights Kane wants to be involved in but he produced a committed display and any anger over his failed attempts to join City was taken out on a poor Pacos side.
He was already applauding chants of “He’s one of our own” after he curled an effort narrowly wide just 20 seconds into the game.
The England captain harried off the ball, was constantly on the move in the box and dropped deep to link well with new signing Bryan Gil, who provided the assist for Kane’s first and looked lively if unpolished throughout.
“He played good,” said Spurs head coach Nuno Espirito Santo, who must be delighted to be discussing Kane’s football rather than his future.
“He scored, he had good movements, he helped the team in possession, out of possession kept his shape, helped recover the ball. He doesn’t have to prove [anything] to anyone. He’s committed. You can see. All the situations that happened are part of the past, let’s look and move forward, but I see him every day.”
It will take more than this performance to win everyone over but Kane knows he must put the whole saga behind him and get back to chasing records and silverware.
He now has 223 goals for Spurs and is eyeing up Jimmy Greaves’ club record of 266.
If Tottenham go far in Europe’s third-tier competition then he may well reach that landmark this season because he will surely score plenty against this quality of opposition.
Those around Kane in the Tottenham changing room never doubted that he would knuckle down once he had returned, but it would have been reassuring, all the same, to see him looking sharp and scoring again.
“It is never nice to have unsettling reports around the club,” said Harry Winks. “He’s been professional, everyone has been professional as possible and we’ve been working as hard as we can to make sure results are going right.
“Whenever Harry gets a chance in and around the box you know he is going to score and today was no different.
“He has been fantastic since he has been back at the club this season, now everything is put to bed it is great for Harry to go out there and show just how important he is to the team.”
Kane still has a lot of making up to do with the fans, but this was a good start.