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Should Kane leave Spurs as he approaches peak?

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Feb 17, 2021 , , , ,

As Harry Kane enters his peak footballing years, the Pitch to Post Review show panel ask: should he leave Tottenham?

Kane, who turns 28 in the summer, is yet to win a major trophy at Spurs, though Jose Mourinho’s side do face Manchester City in April’s Carabao Cup final as they look to end a 13-year wait for silverware.

But Kane’s future is under the spotlight again after failing to register a single touch in the opponent’s box in the 3-0 defeat by Manchester City on Saturday.

Sky Sports’ Jamie Redknapp said after the game: “That is not what players of the class of Harry Kane and Son want to be associated with,” said Jamie Redknapp after the game. “Harry Kane must be thinking: ‘If I played in that City side, how many goals would I get? How many chances? How many touches in the box?’.


Jamie Redknapp believes Harry Kane will be considering his Tottenham future if the club cannot show the same ambition he has to win a major trophy

“Harry Kane must look at that and think: ‘I want touches, I want to be the main man, not just taking free-kicks!’. He won’t be happy doing that.”

In a March 2020 interview with Redknapp himself, Kane refused to rule out a Spurs exit in the future, saying: “It’s one of those things, I couldn’t say yes, I couldn’t say no. I love Spurs, I’ll always love Spurs. But it’s one of those things – I’ve always said if I don’t feel we’re progressing as a team or going in the right direction, then I’m not someone to just stay there for the sake of it.”

Here, the Pitch to Post Review show panel discuss the likelihood of Kane leaving Spurs in the future…

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If Kane wants goals, everything down 20 per cent with Jose

Sky Sports’ Gerard Brand on the Pitch to Post Review show:

“Yes, Harry Kane has still scored goals for Spurs under Mourinho, and has created more chances, and made more assists. But if scoring goals is his main drive, everything is down about 20 per cent.

“Under Mourinho compared with Pochettino, his mins per goal is up negatively from 117 to 137 mins per goal, and his shots, shots on target, big chances and expected chances are all down around 20 per cent. His shot conversion has maintained a good level at around 20 per cent, which is still fantastic, he scores around one goal in every five shots.

Harry Kane in the Premier Leaguie

(Per game) Under Pochettino Under Mourinho Percentage change
Shots 4.18 3.32 -20%
Shots on target 1.88 1.47 -21%
Big chances 0.94 0.73 -22%
Shot conversion 18.39% 19.69% +7%
Expected goals 0.59 0.49 -17%
Mins per goal 117 137 -17%
Team chances created 11.85 8.1 -31%

“Granted, he’s become a better all round player, creating chances for others, but overall this Spurs team under Mourinho creates fewer chances. Under Pochettino it was touching 12 chances per game, under Jose it’s more like eight.

“This isn’t a surprise, and we know the reasons why. Jose is trying to tighten up in an attempt to turn Spurs into a winning team. But this all begs the question: what does Kane want? Does he want to play in a more dominant team? What if he was at a side who created more chances for him? Could he hit 40 goals at someone like Man City, or even Liverpool? Quite possibly, but any move would be huge and cause shockwaves.

Tottenham head coach Jose Mourinho
Kane registers around 20 per cent fewer shots, shots on target and bit chances under Jose Mourinho

“He’s 28 in the summer, and historically this has been a time where players fly the nest and go on to win titles somewhere else. Robin van Persie was 29 when he left Arsenal for United. Teddy Sheringham was 30 and Dimitar Berbatov was 27, both from Spurs. Dwight Yorke was 26 when he left Villa. They all went on to win titles. These are meant to be the peak years.

“He may already be asking himself this question, he may have already decided no, but it’s one to look out for because Mourinho is leaving Spurs any time soon, or changing his style.

“But if Harry Kane is one thing, he’s ruthless, and he may make a ruthless decision.”

To hear more, download the Sky Sports Pitch to Post Review podcast on your provider

Carabao win could prove progress

Harry Kane put Tottenham ahead against Fulham
Kane and Spurs face Manchester City in the Carabao Cup final in April, looking to end a 13-year wait for a trophy

Sky Sports News’ Paul Gilmour on the Pitch to Post Review show:

“Obviously Kane, as he alluded to back in March, wants to win trophies first and foremost.

“The question is whether they can start to threaten and challenge for the major honours. The Carabao Cup final is on the horizon against City, a team they lost to at the weekend, but have beaten twice under Jose Mourinho.

“If they win that trophy, is it a sign of progress for Spurs? Yes, it may only be a League Cup, but it’s always been a trophy that Jose Mourinho has taken seriously over the years.

“The Spurs players, including Harry Kane, would have got a taste for the type of occasion they crave when they reached that Champions League final against Liverpool. Mauricio Pochettino made Tottenham fans feel they can challenge for trophies, and having had the taste of that, they want more. If that doesn’t happen, things quickly turn to frustration.

“Only Harry Kane will know deep down what he wants. He may have Tottenham’s record goalscorer in mind, but it depends what motivates him more.

“Looking at it logically, he’s at an age where he’s coming into the peak era of his career. I think that would be the time, in the next couple of years, to make that kind of decision, if indeed he was going to do it.

“A lot of challenges would come with that – namely Daniel Levy at Spurs – and the current pandemic doesn’t make it easy to afford someone like Kane. With all of that thrown into the mix, it potentially points to him staying a bit longer.”

To hear more, download the Sky Sports Pitch to Post Review podcast on your provider

Does Kane want to be a one-team man?

Harry Kane played 60 minutes in Wednesday's defeat to Everton
Kane told Redknapp in March: “I’ve always said if I don’t feel we’re progressing as a team or going in the right direction, then I’m not someone to just stay there for the sake of it.”

Sky Sports News’ Roger Clarke on the Pitch to Post Review show:

“I’ve always said that if Sir Alex Ferguson was still in charge at Manchester United, Harry Kane would be in his fifth season at Old Trafford by now. It’s the sort of signing Ferguson would have made, and broken the British transfer record to get him.

“Now, it would probably take a world-record fee to sign him. Chelsea have the money, but that’s unlikely. Would Manchester United think it’s one of the missing pieces of the jigsaw, if he guarantees 20, 25 goals a season?

“Harry Kane will be aware of those names – Sheringham, Van Persie and others. Is Harry Kane big ambition to be Spurs’ record goalscorer? We’ve seen the likes of Alan Shearer and Matt Le Tissier show a lot of loyalty, but does Kane want that for his career? I don’t think so. I think at some stage he’s going to take a serious look at himself and think: ‘I am one of the best strikers in the world, everyone else at my level has a sack load of medals, and I don’t have anything.’

“We know he’s had injury problems, and that could be a factor too. Maybe he hasn’t got another six or seven years at the top, maybe it’s a shorter window. It wouldn’t surprise me if this becomes more of a talking point coming into the summer.”

To hear more, download the Sky Sports Pitch to Post Review podcast on your provider

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