Greatest Spurs Players: Harry Kane
Some may feel that it’s a little early to add the name of Harry Kane to a list of greatest ever Tottenham players but we would disagree. Over a number of years now, the striker has proved his consistency as a prolific front man and, if he stays at the club, he’s likely to become the highest goal scorer in the club’s history.
The 2018/19 campaign was a frustrating one for the player with two long spells in the treatment room. The club missed that cutting edge in the Premier League but hopefully, the 2019/20 season will provide us with a more positive storyline.
In the meantime, let’s take a look at Harry Kane’s Tottenham career to date.
Slow Early Progress
Harry Kane started his youth career at Spurs in 2004 and would sign his first professional contract with the club five years later. He was only 16 at the time but there was certainly no suggestion that the player would develop into the prolific striker that we know today. In fact, he spent most of those early years on loan at lower league sides where he failed to really register any significant impression.
Between 2011 and 2013, Kane spent time at four different clubs – Leyton Orient, Millwall, Norwich City and Leicester City – with his seven goals in 22 games for the Lions proving to be his best return. The spell with Norwich was particularly frustrating as they were a Premier League side at the time but injury restricted him to just five appearances for the Canaries.
Higher scoring ratios at junior level for England suggested there was some promise and eventually, Harry Kane was given his chance at White Hart Lane.
Kane had played a part in Tottenham’s Europa League campaign in 2011/12. The striker made his official debut for the club against Hearts in the qualification round before scoring his first goal against Shamrock Rovers later on in the competition.
Further loan spells beckoned after that point but eventually, Spurs were going to have to take a proper look at Harry Kane.
It was former manager Tim Sherwood who gave the young striker his chance in the Premier League following issues with Roberto Soldado’s form in front of goal. He made his first EPL start for the club in April 2014 and scored in a 5-1 win. The season ran down, Tim Sherwood was on his way and a new era was about to begin.
A Star Rises
We didn’t know it at the time but the arrival of Mauricio Pochettino was the bring the good times back to White Hart Lane. The manager deserves so much credit for the transformation of the club but Poch has undoubtedly been helped by the emergence of Harry Kane.
The 2014/15 season eventually saw the youngster given an extended run in the team after the boss finally lost patience with the misfiring Soldado. The transfer window had come and gone so Kane would eventually become the club’s first choice striker.
Highlights of that campaign include a match-winning free kick against Aston Villa, hit Ronaldo style, but with the aid of a big deflection. Prior to that, the striker had scored a hat trick in the Europa League leaving many fans desperate for him to be given a run in the team.
Pochettino was on message and Harry Kane became first choice for much of that 2014/15 season. By the end of the campaign, the striker had registered 31 goals in 51 matches in all competitions – an exceptionally healthy ratio but things would only get better from that point.
Never Looked Back
The four seasons that have followed have brought a number of individual awards and silverware and although Spurs have yet to add to their team trophy cabinet, the rise of Harry Kane suggests that the wait may soon be over.
Golden Boot awards have come, both domestically and at the 2018 World Cup when Kane’s goals were instrumental in driving England all the way to the semi final. Following on from that breakthrough campaign in 2014/15, the following season produced 28 goals in 50 matches but in 2016/17, the striker was almost up to a goal a game ratio.
35 goals in 38 was the tally and it was followed in 2017/18 by another incredible return of 41 in 48. As we know, 2018/19 has been a frustrating campaign for the player but, despite those two injury breaks, Harry Kane has still managed to register 24 goals for the club.
Is it too soon to include him in a list of Tottenham greats? To answer that, we’ll start by looking at his bare statistics. At the end of the 2018/19 domestic season and prior to the Champions League final, Harry Kane had 164 goals in 252 matches for the club. He’s already our leading scorer in Europe and, in terms of the overall list, he now sits in fourth place.
Next season, Harry should pass Martin Chivers on that list and he would need 45 goals to oust Bobby Smith and move into second. That slot may have to wait but the main target is Jimmy Greaves at the very top. Greavesie left the club in 1970 having scored 266 goals in 379 club appearances.
Kane has 164 at the time of writing so, at worst, he would need four more seasons if he stays fit and firing. Most of us are probably already on board with our suggestion but for the doubters, perhaps it will take a winning goal in a major final to ultimately convince you.
The future will also sway decisions and much will depend on how long Harry stays with the club. Talks of bids from abroad have quietened down for now and are unlikely to pick up in the summer after a relatively subdued season.
We hope that 2019/20 is a prolific and injury free campaign for Harry Kane but for now, we’re happy to install him in our own Hall of Fame.