The Hard Tackle looks at the options available to Harry Kane amid speculations that he has decided to leave Tottenham Hotspur at the end of the season.
This past Monday, Sky Sports dropped a huge bombshell when they reported that Tottenham Hotspur superstar, Harry Kane had informed the club that he wanted to leave at the end of the season.
The 27-year-old, a product of the Tottenham Hotspur youth academy and a fan favourite, who regard and serenade him as “one of their own”, had arrived at the decision in order to fulfil his ambitions of winning trophies, the report said. It was even claimed that Kane had held these discussions with the Lilywhites last year but had been convinced to stay put for another season.
And what a season it has been for the England captain on a personal level! 32 goals, 16 assists in 44 games across all competitions, a contender for the Premier League Golden Boot, named the Player of the Year at the Football London Awards – things are usually going quite well when someone is tasting that much amount of success.
However, that is not the case with Kane and Tottenham. The ace goalscorer has, time and again, spoken of his desire to challenge for and win major trophies in his career, after all he is yet to win a single one so far. And, Tottenham, at the moment, just don’t seem like being at that level to compete for titles and silverware.
Agreed, that they were at the top of the league table for a brief amount of time this season and even made it to the finals of the Carabao Cup. But the manner in which their campaign declined since December last year showed that there is still a long way to go. The manner in which the Lilywhites crashed out of the UEFA Europa League against Dinamo Zagreb was confidence-shattering.
They were completely outplayed in the Carabao Cup final by Manchester City even if the scoreline did not reflect that and as far as the Premier League is considered they are battling to hold on to a place in the top six. Not to mention that Jose Mourinho was sacked last month and a new manager will be arriving at the end of the season, meaning a new rebuild, new restructuring and everything begins from the scratch, yet again.
It is fair to point out that while Kane has been carrying this Tottenham team, Kyle Walker has won three Premier League titles with Manchester City (10 trophies in total and is in the UCL final), Christian Eriksen won the Serie A in his first full season with Inter Milan and even Kieran Tripper could be poised to win the La Liga title with Atletico Madrid come Saturday.
28 players have left Tottenham to win a total of 117 trophies since the club last won one in 2008 🏆
(via tbendis/reddit) pic.twitter.com/n6HRK9E6FO
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) May 18, 2021
Kane’s former manager, Mauricio Pochettino has been in charge of PSG for less than six months and has already lifted two trophies as well. Tottenham, meanwhile, haven’t won anything since 2008. Leicester City, where Kane spent a short time on loan in 2013, have won a Premier League title and the FA Cup since.
So, it is only natural for the 27-year-old to think about his future and make difficult decisions, especially now that he is in his peak years. While there will be some fans that will begrudge him for wanting to leave, a large majority are likely to understand where the player is coming from, even if there could be some bitterness if he ends up joining a rival Premier League club.
The Times claimed that Kane had a gentleman’s agreement with Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy over him being sanctioned an exit, as Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea circle to swoop in. While there has been interest from the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona, the fact that he is valued at £150 million pretty much rules them out of the race considering their financial problems currently.
The Hard Tackle, now, tries to assess which club would be best suited for Kane to achieve his goals and win trophies, in case he does end up leaving Tottenham at the end of the season.
It has been a mixed bag of a campaign for Chelsea with the team having gone through highs and lows over the course of the season. But under Thomas Tuchel, they finally seem to be heading on the right trajectory, having made it to the finals of the FA Cup, the UEFA Champions League while looking good for a top-four finish in the league.
Goals, though, have been a major issue for the Blues, despite the huge investment last summer in the likes of Timo Werner, Kai Havertz. Indeed, they have failed to find the back of the net in 25% of the 28 games that the German has managed and that is something that will need to be addressed if they are to go the next step, which explains the interest in Kane.
As for the England international, joining Chelsea would mean he would be the undisputed starter as the No.9 in the current 3-4-2-1 setup employed by Tuchel. In Mason Mount and Hakim Ziyech, he will quality operators who will create chances in abundance for him while crosses coming in from the wing-backs would also help add to his goal tally.
Alternatively, Tuchel could also switch to the 4-2-2-2 setup he successfully employed at PSG to pair up Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe, with Kane essaying the former’s role with the pacy Werner alongside him. Such a system would also help get the best out of the striker’s new-found playmaking abilities.
The fact that Chelsea have made it two finals after it looked like they were down and out just five months ago shows the progress that they have made under Tuchel. And Kane, should he join, would only further their chances of landing silverware, making them an attractive proposition for the England captain.
Manchester City’s interest in Kane is because of a straightforward reason. They are losing an infallible goalscorer in Sergio Aguero at the end of the season and need someone to step in and fill in the vacant shoes that will be left by the club’s all-time leading goal-getter.
Even though, Pep Guardiola has found a way to make his team tick and click in style without the presence of a natural centre-forward this term, the lure of having someone like Kane, who can score and has shown his creative capabilities as well this season, among the ranks is undeniable.
As to why Kane must consider Manchester City, their recent record speaks for itself. Five league titles in ten years, three in the last four years, not to mention the domestic trophies that they have bagged along the way and they could also be set to win the holy grail that is the UEFA Champions League this season, when they take on Chelsea in the finals later this month.
Not to mention, any top player would want to have a chance of working with Pep Guardiola. Again, the Catalan manager’s track record speaks for itself. While he may have not overly relied on Aguero in recent past at City, one need only look at the success he had with Robert Lewandowski at Bayern Munich to gauge the potential impact of what a partnership of Kane and Guardiola can have.
Furthermore, who wouldn’t want to play with the best attacking midfielder in the world in Kevin De Bruyne. Kane, should he join, City, would be surrounded by absolute world-class players in every position on the pitch and on the bench. That sort of competition only drives a player to get better. He has shown that he has the footballing intelligence to mold himself into a sort of a “nine-and-a-half” role this term and could thrive in Guardiola’s tactical setup.
Manchester United may only recently have extended the contract of Edinson Cavani by another year, which was a smart move given the impact that he has had. But the Red Devils are very much in need of an elite goalscorer to take over the No. 9 mantle in the long-run, given as Anthony Martial has flattered to deceive yet again while Marcus Rashford has found home on the left flank whereas Mason Greenwood is still not ready for the role week in week out.
A move for Harry Kane, thus, would make a lot of sense as it would not only address the need of the goalscorer but also allow Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to manage Cavani’s game time carefully while there is no denying the impact that playing alongside the England captain would have on the growth and development of Greenwood.
For the striker himself, representing a club as steeped in history as Manchester United, who despite having faltered since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement, remain one of the biggest clubs in the world would certainly be of appeal. Add to it, the chance to play along with elite creators like Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba, along with his international teammate, Rashford, with whom he has already shown signs of chemistry, will be another drawing factor.
While United, too, may have not won a trophy in a while now, the fact that they have made four semi-finals and a final in the last year or so is a definite sign of improvement under Solskjaer, not to forget that they could still end the season with the Europa League crown. And Kane, along with a top-class central defender, who the club are pursuing ardently, would be the final pieces of the puzzle to take the club back to where they belong.
Should he choose to join United, Kane would not only be the main man, but he would also thrive in the quick, counter-attacking style of play that the Red Devils have often employed under Solskjaer – something that was evident in phases of the Mourinho era at Tottenham, striking a partnership with Rashford in a similar sense to that he now has with Son Heung-min.
At this point, wages are unlikely to be a concern for Kane. Even if they were, all of Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United are more than capable of providing him with a package that would make him one of the Premier League’s top earners. So, the decision will obviously be based on which club would offer him the best shot at winning trophies, and immediately at that.
Chelsea and Manchester United, in that regard, fall behind Manchester City. Both teams have made tremendous progress but Pep Guardiola’s juggernaut is at a whole other level right now. The squad is so full of quality that City can field two starting XIs without losing any of their threat or strength.
In the likes of Ederson, Ruben Dias, John Stones and Aymeric Laporte, they have their defence sorted for a number of years to come. Rodri has seamlessly taken over as Fernandinho’s heir this season while the likes of Ilkay Gundogan and Riyad Mahrez have plenty left in them as well. Throw into the mix a world-class established star in Kevin De Bruyne and a world-class talent in Phil Foden, this Manchester City side has all bases covered.
All they need is a goalscorer like Kane to replace Sergio Aguero. Surely, the 27-year-old joining forces with Guardiola & co. would lead to trophies.