I’ve always regarded Tottenham striker Harry Kane as no more than an extremely proficient goal poacher and also a bit of a one-trick pony in all honesty. He’ll get goals and he does, but his all-round game is still in its infancy.
Give him a half chance in or around the box and the ball will be buried in the opposition’s net. However, intricacies such as deft touches, vision, playing others in and holding the ball up are limited. These things simply aren’t part of Kane’s repertoire.
Given the choice of Alan Shearer at his peak or Harry Kane, there’s no comparison. Shearer’s physical and awkward battling style meant he was able to dominate defenders, bring others into the game, as well as score with head and feet, from dead ball situations or real-time.
Up against the likes of another Premier League giant, Thierry Henry, Harry Kane comes a poor second again. The Frenchman was technically better than both the Spurs striker and Shearer and possibly, only Sergio Aguero of Manchester City can hold a candle to the former Arsenal and Barcelona hitman.
News that Manchester United are thinking of tabling a £200m bid for the Tottenham striker seems to be slightly rich under the circumstances, but also because the marriage between the player and the club doesn’t appear to be a good fit.
Manchester United are suited to a more versatile and agile forward who can create as well as score. They need more craft and instinctive thought, someone of the calibre of Edinson Cavani of PSG, recently thought to be a Chelsea target. A player who will be able to adapt to any tactics that the manager wishes to use against stubborn or durable opponents in the Premier League or European competitions.
Yakubu had to change his game towards the end of his underwhelming spell at United. He tended to go deeper, becoming less of a predator and more provider but unfortunately, he couldn’t combine the two. Yet, I felt his better and more productive performances came after this shift in his role, he served United well for several games.
Kane has obvious and similar limitations and for a £200m price tag, that’s a massive oversight and handicap. Harry Kane would probably fit in at Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester City or PSG where his main role would be to finish the work others started.
To get on the end of one or more of the guilt-edged opportunities that would almost certainly arrive on a plate, but it’s something United aren’t able to guarantee with the current crop of players.
Tottenham managed to provide Harry Kane with Son Heung-min and Dele Alli, who supplied him by often doing the creative elements and donkey work. They were assisted by Eric Dier and the underrated Christian Eriksen, who moved on to Inter Milan.
I remember when England manager Roy Hodgson, during his fairly disastrous reign, oddly allowed Harry Kane the freedom to take all the corners which were a flight of vanity. Kane delivered some doozies and instead of sticking to his well-rehearsed role, he tried and failed at this one. He also lacks pace but that’s not really an issue, nor was it for Gary Lineker because they both have similar styles as traditional predators.
Kane’s presence in and around the area is generally enough to cause the jitters in defence and that’s extremely evident whenever he plays Arsenal. 10 goals in 10 North London derbies says it all.
Manchester United knows that they need goals and you only have to look at Kane’s record to see that he can deliver them, but I’m more worried about the structure around him if he arrives at Old Trafford. Bruno Fernandes seems like part of a missing puzzle and someone who could finally stimulate the creative juices of the enigma known as Paul Pogba.
However, Manchester United needs more than they already have and a single purchase of £200m would mean other crucial purchases are unlikely.
Perhaps the more important question here is how will Tottenham cope without Harry Kane? He has been the most obvious reason for their recent elevation in the Premier League and has been noticeably absent during their recent dip in form. So without him, there could be problems ahead.