Is Harry Kane the real deal?

As Harry Kane rose above Arsenal Defender Laurent Koscielny, his perfectly timed header looped beyond the reach of goalkeeper David Ospina and into the top corner.

The young striker with his second goal of the match had given Tottenham a 2-1 advantage with five minutes to go in the North London derby. Kane went on to finish the season with 28 goals in all competitions and scored on his England debut.

 

The Oxford Dictionary defines ‘the real deal’ as a person or thing considered to be a genuine or supremely good example of their kind. There is one question on every fans lips – is Harry Kane the real deal?

You only have to look back over the course of the last 20 years to see the Premier League is littered with players who have been unable to replicate their good form off the back of a successful breakthrough.

Francis Jeffers is perhaps the most obvious example, following a period in which Jeffers was producing performances which gave him Everton’s highest goals to games ratio of the season; he was given the nickname ‘fox in the box’.

Arsenal later signed him for £8 million, but following a string of injuries he failed to live up to his price tag, with only four goals in two and a half seasons at Highbury.

Former Newcastle player Rob Lee has likened Harry Kane to Alan Shearer, which is quite the comparison considering Shearer netted 260 Premier League goals during his time with Blackburn and Newcastle.

Interestingly, at 20 years of age, Shearer himself scored 14 goals during 48 games in all competitions for Southampton, something Kane has surpassed with his 28 goals in 44 games. In essence much of the comparison between the two is down to the ability of both players to score so many different types of goals.

Of the two goals that Kane scored against North London rivals Arsenal, both required very different techniques to be able to finish the opportunity. The equalising goal saw Kane unmarked at the back post ready to pounce following the goalkeepers failure to clear the ball, a goal very reminiscent of Gary Lineker.

The second goal was what drew Rob Lee to compare Kane with Alan Shearer, he rose strongly above the defender and his well-timed header was too much for the keeper.

These examples perhaps show why Harry Kane is so highly rated and such comparisons are being made. The wide array of goals in his locker show just how versatile he is as a striker, something that many defenders have struggled to cope with.

The statistics certainly back up this claim, while predominantly scoring with his right foot, Kane still managed to score five left footed goals and five headed goals.

The Spurs striker also managed to score in a variety of situations, including ten goals from open play and eight from set pieces. While 14 of his 21 goals were from inside the penalty area and Kane finished a further five from within the six-yard box.

 

Aged 21, Kane is far from the finished article, pressure will be placed on him to replicate his form and improve on his breakthrough season. Mauricio Pochettino and Roy Hodgson will no doubt attempt to shield Kane from the pressure that is so often place on the shoulders of any young talented English player.

Wayne Rooney, particularly at international level, has been criticised on many occasions for his failure to produce in the big games, for such young shoulders to have to deal with this burden is perhaps the biggest issue for England in terms of player development. Kane will face the same response from the media and fans alike should he fail to live up to expectations.

However, former Spurs’ manager Glenn Hoddle recently came out and said that Harry Kane won’t suffer from second-season syndrome. This is some strong support for the PFA Young Player of the Year, considering Hoddle, who has previously managed some of England’s most gifted players, is acknowledged as one of the most tactically minded coaches of the past few decades.

With Euro 2016 less than a year away, Roy Hodgson will be hoping Kane can reproduce his goal scoring form; Kane does indeed have all the attributes to be on the team sheet and would no doubt relish linking up with Wayne Rooney.

Although, while there is no doubt that all football fans will be hoping for Harry Kane to produce yet another strong season, it is important to let him develop naturally as a player without placing the hopes of the nation on him.

With the start of the season weeks away, all eyes will be on Harry Kane in the hope he can push on to the next level. So often in recent years have young players been built up as the future of English football and so often they have failed to live up to those expectations.

However, Harry Kane is different; defenders will find it difficult to read him because he isn’t a one trick pony and he possesses a good footballing brain.

Only time will tell whether the comparisons to Shearer are correct, but one thing is for certain, Kane will score goals and will be out to prove that he is indeed the real deal.

Author Details

Fran Stinchcombe

Lifelong Bristol Rovers fan, huge football fan in general. Fairly new to writing but I always have a story, opinion or viewpoint on anything in our beautiful game. I try to maintain a childlike love of sports, even if I can't run very far these days. I run a football blog called Derive Sports, it is very new, but it has started brightly and it hopefully should be expanding over the coming months

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