Tottenham Hotspur are set to face Chelsea in the Premier League next weekend, but they might need a little help from their former talisman.
Harry Kane is a Tottenham striker who has been in the news recently due to his form. He needs to remind Tottenham of his brilliance when they face Chelsea.
Despite playing the whole game against Crystal Palace last weekend, Harry Kane unintentionally offered Tottenham Hotspur a preview of life without him. Spurs were defeated 3-0 at Selhurst Park as the 28-year-old failed to record a single shot or even a touch in the opposition’s penalty box for the first time in his Premier League career.
It wasn’t the vanishing act he had planned earlier in the summer. Kane had wanted to join Manchester City after becoming dissatisfied with Tottenham’s failure to win trophies despite establishing himself as one of the most prolific goal scorers in English football. Because of the internal strife, Kane was pulled out of Spurs’ opening weekend encounter against City, which resulted in a 1-0 victory for the visitors and cries of “Are you watching Harry Kane?” from home fans disillusioned by the conduct of someone they proudly proclaim “one of their own.”
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Kane’s relationship with those same supporters has subsequently normalized, perhaps suggesting that some share his frustration with the team’s trophy drought, but his goal production has not.
The arrival of Chelsea on Sunday offers an opportune chance for him to remind everyone of his capacity to define the greatest matches, a feat that would benefit all parties involved on many levels. Kane can remind City of what they eventually chose not to pay for, while Spurs can prove to the reigning European champions that the major trophies are still within grasp.
Kane has been lauded for his professionalism throughout his career, but he must have struggled to push himself more than he did at the start of this season, returning to the club he believed he would leave only weeks after losing the Euro 2020 final with England.
Kane set Tottenham’s club record for appearances in European competition on Thursday evening, making his 65th appearance to overtake Steve Perryman. Given that he made his Spurs debut 10 years ago last month, he’s third on the club’s all-time goal scorers list with 166, only 10 behind Bobby Smith and perhaps two more productive seasons away from surpassing record holder Jimmy Greaves’ 220.
However, Kane’s ambition to be evaluated against the game’s greats, not simply those honored in London’s N17, is unsatisfied by such efforts. Kane may now have the most appearances in Europe for Spurs, but that achievement came in the group stage of UEFA’s first Europa Conference League, a third-tier tournament below the Champions League and Europa League dominated by minnows and also-rans.
Kane’s 65th appearance was in a 2-2 draw against Rennes in the Conference League, while his 50th European match was the 2019 Champions League final loss to Liverpool.
Kane informed Spurs of his intention to depart in May, soon before Euro 2020, as a result of this divergence. When a deal fell through, he doubled down, neglecting to return to Tottenham for preseason COVID-19 and blood tests as scheduled. But, as much as it went against Kane’s reputation for professionalism, it’s worth noting that he was right in claiming in a statement that he’d never refused to train, nor had he gone on strike or submitted a formal transfer request. All of them would have been nuclear possibilities if he had tried to push a transfer to City, but he chose not to, which made his reintegration much simpler.
According to ESPN, the main reason in Kane’s inability to go was simply that City never made a genuine bid close to the £150 million transfer price that Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy desired. Spurs refused to allow Kane to go, despite the player’s conviction that he had a gentleman’s agreement, and so, from Levy’s perspective, the onus was on City to make a massive offer, with both his value and reluctance effectively out in the open.
City made it known through intermediaries that they were willing to pay £100 million in addition to offering multiple players — both clubs privately denied reports that a formal offer was ever made — but Spurs refused to budge because Levy had leverage because Kane’s contract had three years left on it.
Kane has reintegrated well with the Tottenham squad, but he isn’t in the form that they need, particularly following a tough summer. UEFA/UEFA/UEFA/UEFA/UEFA/UEFA/UEFA/UEFA/UEFA/UEFA/UEFA/UEFA/UEFA/UEFA/
Kane’s attitude was a little naïve, but he never burnt any bridges with his teammates, who were reported to sympathize with the issue. According to sources, Kane’s future was assured to incoming head coach Nuno Espirito Santo, who prepared accordingly. It remains to be seen if City would test Tottenham’s resolve again in January or, more likely, next summer.
The sight of England manager Gareth Southgate deciding on a front three of Kane, Sterling, and Grealish from City throughout the most important international games this month would no doubt have given Pep Guardiola cause for thinking. Kane scored in all three England games, extending a run of five goals in eight games across all competitions this season — a record that seems to be more than adequate at first sight, until a closer look reveals the need for improvement.
Kane scored from the penalty spot against Andorra, but his strike against Hungary did nothing to disguise the reality that he should have had a hat trick given the opportunities he wasted at the Puskas Arena. His stunning 30-yard drive against Poland was a rare flash of brilliance in an otherwise dull encounter; his only goals for Spurs this season came in the Europa Conference League qualifying round against Pacos de Ferreira.
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This isn’t meant to be a personal attack on him. Kane is known for his sluggish beginnings, having failed to score in August of any season until 2018-19, and a mental exhaustion after Euro 2020 would be understandable given England’s painful penalty shootout loss to Italy, a truncated vacation, and rumours about a move to City.
There is also further mitigating in the teams for which he plays. Nuno has only been in charge for a little over two months, and Southgate’s well-publicized conservatism as England manager may not foster the most creative atmosphere in which Kane may flourish. Despite this, he was quiet in his first Premier League start against Watford, and he only got 38 touches versus Palace without ever posing a danger.
Former Spurs player and manager Glenn Hoddle stated on Thursday, “I believe Harry is in for a very difficult season, personally.” “It is up to the other players to begin regularly producing. He was responsible for a number of assists and goals last season. That’s something he can’t accomplish every season.”
There’s some truth to it, and Nuno will be hoping Son Heung-Min, with whom Kane has formed such an effective relationship, is available to play Chelsea. Several others, such as Davinson Sanchez, Cristian Romero, and Giovani Lo Celso, have spent the week training in Croatia after breaking club regulations to represent Argentina in Brazil.
However, Kane willingly compares himself to Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, the two best players of his – and perhaps any other – age. After two productive years at Inter Milan, he sees himself as one of the few players capable of defining the biggest matches on their own, a group Romelu Lukaku is striving to join.
Kane has only scored once in his last eight Premier League games against Chelsea, and Lukaku, who has made encouraging early steps in establishing himself the missing piece in the Blues’ championship quest, will lead their assault on Sunday. What a perfect opportunity for Kane to remind everyone, especially City, of his real worth.
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