The drumbeat keeps getting louder for top Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane to leave the club he has served so well for years and seek trophies with some of the big international clubs around the world.
Pundits like Roy Keane, Shaka Hislop, Frank Leboeuf, Craig Burley and Michael Owen say that if Harry Kane has ambitions to win the big prizes in the game, at 28, he has to move on.
What they fail to acknowledge is that he can be a living legend at Spurs, the club’s top goalscorer as well as winning silverware. He could end up with his very own statue outside the ground while still playing!
Kane is closing in on Alan Shearer’s record of scoring the most goals in the English Premier League’s (EPL). Shearer scored 260 goals in 441 appearances. The Tottenham striker is now on 164 in 240 appearances. He can go down in history before his playing career is over and he can do it at Spurs.
Jimmy Greaves has been Spurs’ record-holding goal scorer with 266 goals in 379 appearances between 1961-1970. Again, Kane can top that and write his name in the history books.
Very few men make history with stellar performances with one institution during a lifetime, displaying loyalty, commitment, passion – Harry Kane can. This is what greatness is remembered by.
If his motivation is solely to go in search of winning trophies to cap a memorable career, goaded by people who are short-sighted he could be bitterly disappointed.
The history of the game is replete with men who took that route and are now forgotten, remembered as soldiers of fortunes, their names will never echo down the ages.
In the words of Alexander the Great, “In the end, when it is over, all that matters is what you’ve done.”
Eden Hazard was a Chelsea legend, banging goals from midfield for fun. He was told that he was too good for Chelsea and should be performing at the biggest clubs in Europe.
He went to Real Madrid, got fat and injured and is a shadow of the footballer he once was. Needless to say, he will never be a Real Madrid legend. Yes, he may cop a Champions League winners medal, or win La Liga but as the memories grow dim, his tenure in Spain will be an afterthought, his days at Chelsea will be recalled.
Michael Owen was a legend and goal-scoring legend at Liverpool. He didn’t win an EPL trophy with the team and moved to Real Madrid where he was used as a substitute and failed to make an impact.
Ian Rush went to Juventus in search of glory that never came and will forever be a well loved and cherished Liverpool icon.
Steven Gerrard is a Liverpool great who had opportunities to play at some of the biggest clubs notably Chelsea under Mourinho instead he chose loyalty and the affection he received from his boyhood and hometown club. People will be speaking to his grandchildren about his contribution to the club, even though when he was playing, Liverpool never won the EPL.
Alan Shearer is arguably the best English striker the EPL ever saw who could have gone to Manchester United and won a hat full of honours and silverware. He is now a Newcastle legend, known for what he did there rather than winning the EPL with Blackburn.
Kane prospered under both Mauricio Pochettino and Jose Mourinho scoring plenty of goals and got close to winning silverware (EPL, Champion’s League, Carabao Cup). Under both managers, he consistently leads the attack line. If he moves there is no guarantee that will continue.
Should he go to Italy, Spain, Manchester United or Manchester City who is to say he will enjoy the full confidence of the manager or enjoy the same adulation from the fans? Say it takes him time to settle in, he picks up injuries and is forced to sit out games – will a manager under pressure keep faith as they have done at Tottenham?
You never know what you have lost till it’s gone.
With Mourinho sacked and a new manager due to arrive before the new season, Kane can play an instrumental role in getting Tottenham winning trophies. No doubt, the club will be playing more front foot football and will abandon the defensive, catch them on the broken mindset that Mourinho favoured.
This season Tottenham squandered opportunities from a leading position. If they had converted just four of those, they would have secured their Champion’s League spot. Tottenham has mouth-watering attacking options but needs a secure defensive line. Daniel Levy will have to go shopping this summer. They will have to be more vigilant next season and show confidence in playing to their strengths.
Kane has perhaps four more seasons at the very top level to achieve Tottenham immortality, becoming the leading goal scorer in EPL history and win trophies. This can be accomplished if he remains where he is loved and cherished, a place he helped to transform into a footballing force.
A decade ago, Spurs was a mid-table team. Harry Redknapp began changing that and the north London club has made progress but has slipped when it mattered most.
Along the way, the Spurs have gone ahead of Arsenal, their bitter rivals. Manchester United is no longer the force it was under Sir Alex Ferguson. Liverpool, who has contended for top spot particularly under Brendan Rodgers only crossed the line last season with Klopp but has fallen off since. There is an opportunity for Tottenham to raise aloft a trophy or two with Kane leading the line but only if they believe they can.
Winning a top-four place now may be questionable but booking a Europa spot must happen. That would mean Spurs would have made very little progress on last season.
All is not lost but it is always better to have destiny in your own hands. Tottenham may well see a glimmer of hope if Manchester City should win the Champion’s League and they finish fifth.
Last week, after winning the Premier League Player of the Year award at the London Football Awards, Kane made his position clear saying: “ Individual awards are great, they are fantastic achievements. When I look back at the end of my career, these are the things I will go over and take in more but the goal right now as a player is to win team trophies.
“I want to be winning the biggest prizes. there is to offer, and we are not quite doing that.
“It is bittersweet. I would rather be winning team trophies and this one, but it is what it is. I am proud to win it, it means it’s been a good season on the pitch.
“So I have got to try and continue what I am doing.”
Harry Kane has 21 goals this season and may very well pick up the golden boot. The best of him may be yet to come and why not in a Spurs shirt at White Hart Lane.
Harry, you can have it all, including the trophies – while being a Spurs icon.