Appropriately, we now look at some Harry Kane transfer news. Kane has been in the news a lot recently. Much has been said about his form this season with some people even going as far to suggest he’s now one of the best players in the world. Predictably but understandably the transfer links with the top clubs in the world have begun again as a result of Kane’s fine start to the season. Is he really as good as some people say he is? Will he leave Spurs?
We try and answer these questions and take an in depth look at Harry Kane and the possibilities.
Nationality: 23 caps 12 goals
Reported Transfer Fee: £150mil or £108mil + Benzema or Bale, Benzema & Modric or £200mil
2016/17 League Stats: 29 starts (1 sub. appearance) 29 goals (7 assists)
2017/18 League Stats: 9 starts (0 sub. appearances 8 goals (1 assist)
It was always only going to be a matter of time before we took a closer look at Harry Kane. His domestic form has been at such a consistently high standard for so long now that I’m sure the interest in him has never really gone away. It was inevitable that some big clubs would get linked again at some point this season and it’s likely that these links will always follow him but certainly whilst he remains a Tottenham player (which I expect for the foreseeable future).
Kane has already scored 8 in 9 starts this season in the league and looks nailed on to make this his fourth season on the bounce in which he scores more than 20. It wouldn’t surprise me if he broke the 30 goal mark this season either. His figures this season are all the more impressive when considering his usual August jinx. All 8 of his goals have come in 5 games.
His domestic pedigree is clearly unquestionable. Within the Premiership, really only Sergio Aguero can argue that he’s been as consistently prolific over such a period.
However, for me, there are still question marks over Kane at the very top level. He’s performing very well in the Champions League group stage this season and that’s a step in the right direction in comparison to last season’s disappointments. In terms of the business end of the competition though he still has no experience, like most of the Spurs team, so he still has it all to prove in Europe’s premier competition.
Whilst the less said about Euro 2016 the better. None of the England players covered themselves in much glory. Kane ended up losing his place in the team. His one and only major international tournament was a massive disappointment on a personal level as well as a collective.
Kane has done ok for England on the whole if you look past Euro 2016. He has a decent strike rate but most of his goals have come against mediocre opposition in qualifying or in friendlies. Again Kane has yet to prove himself in top level tournament football.
Nonetheless Kane’s value to Tottenham is huge. Llorente is a decent addition and an upgrade on Janssen as back up striker to give better depth this season to their attack but still the gulf to Kane is big. Whenever he’s missing from the Tottenham team they look weaker and far less of a goal threat, even if Guardiola’s comments about Spurs being a one man team are slightly harsh.
Tottenham could still do with lessening the burden on Kane with some higher level competition for his place in the team. He’s missed a few games here and there but really Spurs have been fortunate he hasn’t suffered any longer term injuries.
It’s definitely no surprise that Kane has been attracting the interest of the two biggest clubs in the world in Barcelona and Real Madrid and it’s fully justified
Barcelona are said to have scouted Kane (and Eriksson) but I’m starting to sound like a broken record with some of the speculation involving attacking players and Barcelona. The issue is still the same one I’ve described before, regardless if who the player in question is. Unless they move away from their 4-3-3 formation, the most vulnerable attacking player in the line up, in the short to mid term, has to be £100mil man Ousmane Dembele.
It’s almost impossible to see Messi or Suarez making way for anyone else in world football.
But it’s also inconceivable that Barca would spend all that money for Dembele to sit on the bench which looks the most likely outcome if Barca were to invest heavily again on some of the latest players they’ve been linked with such as Dybala, Griezmann, Martial or Kane.
The only other possible explanation would be a replacement for Messi or Suarez. I guess anything is possible, Neymar left after all and few could have predicted that but Messi and Suarez are still right at the top of their game so it’s hard to see Barcelona further dismantling the most feared strike force in world football for a second season running, even for Harry Kane.
So as with some of the other rumours such as Dybala, Real Madrid look a much more likelier prospect for Kane. Even ignoring their poor start to the season, the Real Madrid attack doesn’t have the same depth or quality as Barca’s whilst age seems to be catching up with many of their players.
Benzema is still a top class player but he’s not been that prolific over the course of his career, especially recently. Whereas despite a much shorter career to date, Kane just keeps racking up impressive numbers year on year. Benzema is failing to live up to the expectations of a Real Madrid striker whereas Kane’s performances in years gone by would have made him a perfect candidate to become a Galatico.
It is hard to see Real go another pre-season without a notable, established signing in an attacking position and Kane must be in that discussion.
Real and particularly Zidane are known admirers of Kane, recently he described the England striker as a ‘complete player’. High praise but probably a bit flattering. There’s not a lot that Kane lacks but he does need to work on his technique if he is to contribute to Tottenham winning trophies. His ball control was badly exposed at the Euros. He could also do with improving his dribbling and passing.
Kane has never been the quickest or best physically either although his strength is improving. In terms of the mental side of the game though, he’s top class in most aspects. Composure, consistency, movement, work rate and determination are all qualities he possesses in an abundance.
The speculation involving Kane has been quite consistent with the usual suspects being linked. That’s not surprising given Kane’s likely transfer price, only the richest clubs would be able to afford such a deal.
The value of the deals mentioned have also been in the same ballpark too, by and large. £150mil offers have been reported but around £200mil seems widely accepted as a potential fee in this market.
The kind of deals being talked about however have varied considerably. Straight cash deals have been reported but so too have player swaps. Benzema has figured prominently in these suggestions whilst so have reunions with Modric and Bale.
I don’t consider any of these reports to be reliable but it does raise the question of: are Real actually able to afford Kane? I’m not so sure. Unlike PSG and Man City, Real aren’t heavily bankrolled by private investors. A deal for Kane would likely be around the same level of Neymar’s which badly limits Kane’s potential destinations.
So whilst the swap deals mentioned look extremely unlikely to me, at least there is an appreciation of what would be necessary to make a deal for a player like Kane to work. Real would have to sacrifice other first team players. The financial landscape in football is changing and huge investment is needed for these record breaking deals.
Regardless I don’t see any of those players mentioned being too keen on joining or returning to Spurs. There are few places left to go after Real Madrid, the drop would probably be considered too much by these players despite Spurs’ impressive rise.
That’s not a bad thing for Tottenham though. Modric is aging and Spurs have a good midfield with some top prospects coming through, such a signing would hinder their development. Bale is top class but would be really poor value for money given the lack of time he actually spends on the pitch.
Benzema could be a good addition but he blows hot and cold too much for me and has gone missing often on some of the biggest stages. Even more crucially though, the £70-80mil valuation seems wildly excessive to me.
I don’t see Kane leaving Spurs any time soon. If he was to go anywhere Real look more likely than Barcelona but the size of the potential transfer could need considerable planning. Tottenham and Levy do have a good relationship with Real Madrid and have done some big money deals in the past with Modric and Bale which might aid things in a small way.
However Spurs aren’t the same team that they were back then and Harry Kane isn’t either of those players. He is a Tottenham fan and has a much stronger affinity to the club. It’s a lot harder to see him turning his back on the club, especially whilst they continue on this current upward trajectory.
Tottenham’s continual improvement and strengthening on the pitch, under the highly impressive Pochettino, not to mention the prospect of a new stadium makes the club an exciting place to be right now. For a Tottenham fan actually playing for the club, there’s not been many better times to be playing there.
Harry Kane looks happy, he’s performing really well and everything on the whole looks positive so why would he want to change that?
We’ve mentioned the financial restrictions that Tottenham seem to operate within and that could be a potential cause for concern. It’s obvious that Kane could earn considerably more away from Tottenham yet is happy at the club and that seems to have little bearing on him or his performances.
However I’m less convinced the same could necessarily be said of his team mates and if the quality of the squad ends up declining as players follow the money to other clubs then he may feel the club’s ambition doesn’t match his.
I still believe Dybala is a more likely signing for Real in the summer as I expect the Argentinian to be more affordable and I can’t see Kane leaving the club he supports so early into his career.
However in 2/3 years, depending on what Tottenham have won and what has happened with their other quality players, such as Alli, Eriksson and Alderweireld. Kane may feel he has outgrown the club if they aren’t seriously challenging at home and in Europe by then…
Where do you rank Kane amongst the best strikers in the world? Will he leave? Leave your comments below.