Harry Kane is a gem amongst Tottenham’s latest crop of young hopefuls, with a knack for finding the back of the net. Not 19 until the end of the month, he was one of the younger players to represent England’s U19 side in the UEFA European Under-19 Championship in Estonia, where they sadly lost to Greece in the semi-final.
For the U19 squad he has appeared 14 times and scored 6 goals. On first glance this doesn’t seem to be a particularly good record for a forward, but it’s worth mentioning that he has also been played wide, in central midfield, and most often as a traditional number 10 rather than a line-leader, meaning the emphasis is on him to create goals as much as score them.
This also makes him a very diverse player, being able to play anywhere across the midfield as well as centre forward – a very useful asset to have as it allows him to fill any hole in the squad, without any major penalty to performance.
However, Kane has a natural instinct for hitting the target from range. He showed this in England U19s 1-0 win over Switzerland, which won them a spot in Estonia. Although he didn’t succeed in finding the net, he struck a first time shot just wide of the post from 20 yards on 39 minutes, and had a similar effort in the 47th minute; turning and firing from 25 yards, despite being under heavy pressure. On that occasion, the Swiss keeper saved his attempt.
Kane came through our academy, making 22 appearances in the 2009/2010 season and scoring 18 goals, an impressive record. He scored 3 times the following season, however as we know from the Europa league, that was when he made the jump to professional football.
He spent the second half of last season on loan to Milwall where he scored 10 times from 28 games in all competitions. Initially this makes you wonder ‘is he that special?’. Emanuel Adebayor last season bagged 17 goals in 33 games, which would be approximately 14 goals from 28 games; Kane was, therefore, not far from Adebayor’s record, despite not always playing as an out and out striker. It’s also worth noting that he won Millwall’s Young Player of the Year award.
The prowess in front of goal that he has shown in his short career so far, including his time at Millwall and in Estonia 2012, can only be a positive thing, and I think a loan for this season will make him a fantastic striker. However another loan may not be an option for Kane as Tim Sherwood was quoted this summer as saying that Harry has, after his time in the Championship, “ticked that box.”
Sherwood was also quoted saying Kane “will get every chance to prove himself to the new manager.” This hints that Sherwood feels Kane is ready to take the step up to the first team and, with Adebayor seemingly set to become our first choice, Kane could possibly see some action playing just behind him in “lesser” matches. He offers an interesting alternative to van der Vaart, providing height, strength and heading ability that VDV cannot bring to the table.
His appearance in our first pre-season friendly against Stevenage may have been due to the lack of bodies, could be the new manager experimenting with young players, but could also be an indication that AVB trusts him in the first team. He, of course, does not need to be named in our squad of 25 as he is so young, meaning that he could be used as “free” cover.