Harry Kane is England’s top striker
You might have heard, but Harry Kane doesn’t score in August. It’s true. The Spurs striker has never scored a Premier League goal in the first month of the season. But with his first shot of September on Saturday, he found the net. And he notched another in the 3-1 win over Everton too.
Of course, Kane had scored a double for England the week before, kick-starting his goal tally for the 2017/18 campaign. It was never in any doubt that the 24-year-old would start firing. The questions that were once asked of Kane, posed whether he was a one-season wonder, have long been answered.
Now, Kane is considered one of the best in the Premier League. He has netted 80 times in 117 appearances for Spurs, becoming one of the most consistent, reliable goalscorers in Europe. He is the face of Mauricio Pochettino’s exciting, dynamic Spurs team, representing their development into title challengers under the Argentine’s charge.
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This season is set to be one defined by great centre forwards. Romelu Lukaku has hit the ground running at Manchester United, quickly becoming the frontman to Jose Mourinho’s Old Trafford outfit. Chelsea’s season is also likely to be defined by strikers, two in fact – one being Diego Costa and the other being the man signed to replace him, Alvaro Morata.
Arsenal found themselves a new number nine over the summer, too, signing Alexandre Lacazette for a club record fee, and there is a growing feeling that Sergio Aguero, a player not so long ago benched by Pep Guardiola, could become an integral figure in Manchester City’s title challenge.
But none of these players are as important to their respective sides as Kane is to Spurs. Pochettino has built an entire team around the 24-year-old, with the likes of Dele Alli, Christian Eriksen and Moussa Dembele all playing to his strengths. And in turn, he brings out the best in his teammates. It’s an eco-system that benefits all and Kane is at the centre of it.
“Batistuta was a killer, a strong mentality, a strong shot. You can compare but for me I put Batistuta higher, but Harry can be better. Harry is a killer, too,” said Pochettino, comparing his centre forward to Gabriel Batistuta. “Look at his scoring in the last few seasons. You can see the potential in a player. We can give them the tools but then it is up to them. Harry is the protagonist of his life.
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“We provided him with the tools to grow up and show all the qualities he has. He is one of the best strikers in the world, one of the best players, too. He’s a great man as well. I’m proud to work with him.”
Pochettino is right to highlight how Kane still hasn’t reached his peak as a goalscorer, referencing the “potential” he still has. At 24, his best years are probably ahead of him, which is quite a frightening thought given his current capabilities. Kane is good enough to drag Spurs to the Premier League title, he has shown that already, leading the North London side to successive second place finishes.
For some reason, Kane doesn’t get the credit he deserves. He should be heralded as one of the best, not just in the Premier League, but in Europe. There’s more than enough evidence to support that case, but English football’s inferiority complex, at least when comparing talent to that of the continent, means Kane somehow finds himself confined by the restrictions of his own reputation. It might take him winning a Premier League title on his own for that to change.