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“He would have to leave Spurs to become that real top, top, world class Lewandowski type player, he could…I think he needs to be challenging for Ballon d’Ors. I think he needs to be challenging for Champions Leagues and if Spurs are always going to be that ‘nearly’ team, eventually he will want to leave and join a Real Madrid or Barcelona.” Phil Neville on Harry Kane.
Neville is clearly not convinced at labelling Harry Kane a “world class player”. But does Kane really need to leave Spurs to reach that level? And is he already world class?
Is Harry Kane really that good?
Harry Kane scored 29 goals in only 30 league appearances last season, taking the golden boot for a second consecutive season despite missing 8 games. Consider that he beat Sergio Aguero, Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku to the award despite playing less games, and the achievement appears even more impressive. Spurs may have relied on Kane for goals, scoring 35% of Spurs’ league goals, but that’s not particularly out of the ordinary for any premier league team with Lukaku scoring 40% and Sanchez 31%. Dele Alli and Son scored 18 and 14 league goals respectively, so Spurs clearly have other players that are capable of producing goal-scoring and match-winning performances.
— Frank Sæther (@FrankSaether) September 26, 2017
So why would Harry Kane have to leave to become world class? Spurs have comfortably qualified for the Champions League last year, have the youngest team in the Premier League on average, and have invested in the infrastructure of the club. Gareth Bale was considered a world class player while still at Spurs that was a weaker team than Spurs at present, so why shouldn’t Kane be? Players such as Hugo Lloris, Toby Alderweireld and Christian Eriksen are some of the best around in their positions, and last week’s 3-1 victory over Borussia Dortmund, with Kane bagging a brace, suggests that Spurs are no small club. Will they always be a ‘nearly’ team? Only time will tell, but they appear to be taking all the right steps to breach that label. Of course, they are no Real Madrid or Barcelona, but then neither are any other club in the Premier League.
Question marks remain for some over Kane’s international pedigree, a year on from England’s humiliating Euro 2016 campaign. But 10 goals in 21 games, including goals against France and Germany (admittedly in friendlies) suggest Kane is able to perform on the international stage. Besides, look at any England player debated to be world class over the past 15 years- Lampard, Gerrard, Terry, Scholes, Beckham and Rooney- with the exception of the latter at Euro 2004, have any of them truly excelled at an International tournament? Recent talk of the captaincy of England shows how far Kane has come- it’s easy to forget he’s only 24.
Class Hattrick from #HarryKane. He must be worth the (GDP) of a small country, if anyone wanted to buy him now.
— BermondseyBoy (@Bermondsey1885) September 26, 2017
A final thought
Luis enjoyed a prolific few years at Liverpool, scoring 0.63 goals a game on average, whilst Kane currently averages 0.68 for Spurs. Suarez was and is considered a truly world class striker, why shouldn’t Harry Kane be too?
Beyond the danger of the traditional “English-players-are-overrated” concept, it is by no means ridiculous to already label Harry Kane as world class.
— Photos of Football (@photosofootball) September 26, 2017