Welcome to World Class: Harry Kane
England have seen phenomenal goal scorers in the past. Michael Owen, Jimmy Greaves, Gary Lineker, Wayne Rooney, Alan Shearer… the list goes on. These are some of the biggest names in history.
Shearer has scored 260 ridiculous Premier League goals – 52 more than any player in the history of the competition.
Rooney scored 53 goals for England – four more than legendary World Cup winner Bobby Charlton.
There’s a good reason these two are considered some of the best players in English history, and yet Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane is on track to overtake the two and set the new bar against which the English attackers will be compared.
Now, before we continue, it’s important to mention the elephant in the room. Much of the criteria we 90 mins used to define “world class” was the ability to lead a team towards trophies. After all, it’s very rare to see a player fall like an all-time great if they end their career with an empty trophy cabinet.
Kane is an exception to the rule. He might not have the most team trophies, but when it comes to individual records, few can even hold a candle to the Spurs superstar.
Let’s review some of its numbers. Kane has played six full seasons of Premier League football and has never managed less than 17 goals. He hit the 20 mark in four of those years and even hit 30 in 2017/18.
Keeping that kind of pace, Kane scored his 150th Premier League goal in November 2020 in a 1-0 win over West Brom, which was only his 218th game in the competition. In contrast, only Sergio Aguero (217) and Shearer himself (212) did it faster.
Kane plans to tie Shearer’s 260-goal tally in about five more seasons, which would put him at 32, and there’s no reason to suggest he couldn’t continue racking up the goals for years to come. to come up.
Just think of all the players who have played in the Premier League. There are names of superstars, and yet Kane is only a few years away from being their poster. The scoring exploits of Cristiano Ronaldo and Thierry Henry will be compared to those of Kane, and the Spurs man will come out comfortably in the lead.
What makes Kane so impressive is how nobody expected him to achieve anything close to this.
Infamously out of Arsenal academy as a youngster due to his lack of athleticism, Kane failed a try at none other than Tottenham. No one thought he had the talent, but even as a child, Kane used it as motivation.
He quickly proved Tottenham wrong and earned a place in the academy, but even then no one really saw his talent. However, what stood out was the kind of elite mindset that many seniors do not have. Kane was is going to be the best in the world, he would make sure.
“For me, the quality that made him stand out as a youngster was that incredible self-confidence,” former Spurs youth coach Les Ferdinand told The Telegraph. “What he was, he was very determined. He always knew exactly where he wanted to go.
That determination earned him a chance to turn pro, but when tasked with proving himself on loan with Leyton Orient, Millwall, Norwich and Leicester City he struggled to impress. He was good enough to be a professional footballer, but maybe not at the top level.
Kane felt it. He felt the doubt around him, and it made him move forward.
He eventually secured a permanent place in Mauricio Pochettino’s first team in the 2014/15 season, and he has never looked back. Goals continued to flow in with devastating speed, and no one in England’s top flight has been able to match that.
By 2017, Kane’s pedigree was already well known and Gary Neville was one of many to claim that Kane had already reached the top of the football mountain.
“Before the game we put him in the Alan Shearer and Wayne Rooney categories and I’m comfortable sitting here and putting him in the Lewandowski, Cavani category, those world class center-forwards,” Neville told Sky Sports.
“I think you can get Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar off a bit. They are amazing, they are monsters. But from what you would call traditional center forwards, numbers nine, Cavani, Lewandowski, Shearer… I’m really comfortable putting him in this company and they’re exceptional forward-thinking.
“It is a dream. It is gold. He’s a boy who will never have a bad run because even though he won’t score goals [all the time] he will always contribute to the team. He will be a targeted man, he will put people on the line. “
It’s not just at club level where Kane has succeeded. For England, he’s already sixth in the all-time standings, and he plans to overtake Rooney by the time he turns 29. It is not unreasonable to suggest that he will always be at the peak of his powers for years to come. .
“In terms of what’s possible, the goalscoring record is really interesting because his hitting rate for us is phenomenal and he has time on his side to pursue Wayne Rooney’s record which would be a remarkable achievement,” said England boss Gareth Southgate said (via Goal). “I know from his point of view, although personal accomplishment is something he is driven towards, it is team accomplishment.”
Few have ever made it as easy as Kane, whose effortless eye for goal has combined with his phenomenal mentality to create a sparkling career that is far from over. In fact, this is just the start.
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