Harry Kane has been a talisman for Tottenham Hotspur, but after consistent injury challenges and a struggle for silverware, should he consider a transfer?
At current pace, Harry Kane stands a good chance of catching Alan Shearer as the Premier League’s all-time top goalscorer. There’s a bit of work to be done before the Tottenham Hotspur striker, currently on 136 goals, is within striking distance of Shearer’s standing record of 260 goals, but Kane has time on his side.
Comparisons have long been drawn between Kane and Shearer. There are similarities in the games of the two center-forwards, in the way they have led the line for England and even in the way they celebrate finding the back of the net. There is one similarity that Kane must strive to avoid, though.
For all that Shearer is undoubtedly a legend of the Premier League era, that status was never decorated with silverware. Despite operating at the top of the sport for close to two decades, Shearer only ever got his hands on one major trophy, and that was as a relatively young player with Blackburn Rovers. At Newcastle United, where Shearer came to define an entire club, he won nothing.
Similarly, Kane also has nothing to show for all his Premier League goals so far, only ever finishing as a runner up in both the Champions League and the EFL Cup. For someone widely revered as one of the best strikers of his generation, it’s something that surely weighs on the mind of the 26-year-old, even if he dare not admit it.
And so Kane is approaching something of a career crossroads. Spurs appear stuck in a state of transition with no guarantee that Jose Mourinho will be able to build on what Mauricio Pochettino achieved at the club. If anything, the North London club seems to be regressing. Kane’s best years are still ahead of him, but if he sees himself spending them somewhere other than Tottenham he must move now.
Kane hasn’t been himself for some time. In fact, his slump can be traced all the way back to the 2018 World Cup when he rushed back from injury in order to play for England. Kane won the Golden Boot as the tournament’s top scorer in Russia, but that only masked his below-par performances.
He wasn’t fit and true fitness has evaded Kane ever since. He hasn’t allowed his body to recover and so one injury has led to another. In each of the last three seasons, Kane has faced a race against time to find fitness for another reason or another — the World Cup in 2018, the Champions League final in 2019 and the Euros in 2020 before the tournament’s postponement.
Spurs no longer seems to be the right environment for Kane. Instead, a new challenge might be what is required to reinvigorate the striker, to shake him into life again. Manchester United and Real Madrid are both believed to hold a long-standing interest in Kane and would surely test Tottenham’s resolve with an offer should the player decide to move on this summer.
It’s been mooted that Spurs might even be best served by cashing in on Kane. The North London club’s squad is in need of reconstruction and with Daniel Levy, a notoriously shrewd operator, unlikely to hand over a blank checkbook it could be the case that Kane’s sale would fund the signings Mourinho needs before the start of next season.
Shearer faced a similar crossroads in his career more than once, with Sir Alex Ferguson attempting numerous times to lure the striker from St James’ Park to Manchester United. While Shearer earned hero status at Newcastle United, he surely ponders what might have been had he chased silverware. Kane must consider if he is prepared to live with similar regrets.