By ‘Rob Doyle’
Full disclosure: I’m a Spurs fan. That might help explain the sensationalist headline. However, it also gives me insight in to why I feel Kane has become world-class. I’ve seen firsthand how our talisman has developed over the past few seasons. It’s not a coincidence that Kane’s arrival on the scene had resulted in Spurs becoming contenders for the title. When you look around Europe at the other top class attacking talent, it does bring you back to the question: Is Harry Kane the best striker in the world?
All world class strikers deliver goals every season. Harry Kane is no different. In fact, out future captain is improving his goal scoring year on year. In his true breakthrough 2014/2015 season, he managed to break through the 20 goal in the Premier League. For good measure, he scored 5 goals from 4 starts in the Europa League. Some critics dismissed him as a ‘one season wonder’.
During the 2015/2016 campaign, he increased his Premier League tally to 25 goals. Spurs finished a disappointing third after a late collapse, but fans were optimistic about the fortunes of the team, spearheaded by the incomparable, Harry Kane. While many thought we would return to 5th or 6th this year, Poch had different ideas.
Kane has struggled somewhat with injuries this year but his Premier League stats are simply stunning. In 30 league games, he has scored 29 goals and also has 7 assists. Kane is averaging well over one goal or assist every single game. Is there a better example of top flight consistency? He only managed three appearances in our disastrous Champions League campaign but still scored twice. The Kane train cannot be stopped.
So… is Harry Kane the best striker in the world? It would be naïve not to assess the competition. In the Premier League, you could make a case for Aguero. His strike rate is impressive this season but not close to Kane’s. The City striker has 20 goals in 31 games with a grand total of three assists. Anyone else? Zlatan is now injured but was still below Kane’s level, Costa is only occasionally interested in playing football, and Lukaku is still found wanting against top teams.
Looking further afield, we have a world class striker in Lewandowski. The Polish striker is a goal machine. 30 goals in 33 league games this season is incredible. However, there is a caveat. Lewandowski plays for Bayern, who are so much stronger than any other Bundesliga side, so goals are nearly guaranteed. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang doesn’t have that luxury at Dortmund. His stats are very similar to Kane’s this season. In 32 league games, he has 31 goals and 2 assists. The difference is that this is only Aubameyang’s second season where he has scored over 20 goals. And he’s 4 years older than Kane.
The stats don’t lie
Higuaín and Cavani are the top two strikers in Italy and France respectively. Once again their stats are inflated by playing for a dominant side in a weakened league. Neither can claim to be the best in world. This brings us to Spain. Ronaldo and Messi’s are not true strikers. They are considered the best two players in the word, although this is sometimes driven by social media excitement and commercialism. Kane has shown that he’s capable of becoming one of the best players in the world, let alone strikers.
I would argue that Kane is superior to either Messi or Ronaldo when playing through the middle (perhaps this could be the debate for the best ‘centre forward’ in the world) Holding defenders off, bringing others in to play and deadly finishing are Kane’s trademarks. On this basis, as a traditional number 9, I would choose Kane to play in that role over anyone in the world. Perhaps I’ve lost any sense of objectivity, but when it comes to the question, I know my answer. Is Harry Kane the best striker in the world? Yes, I believe he is!
What do you think? Has Harry Kane become the most complete striker on the planet over the past few years? Let us know your opinion by voting in the poll below:
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