Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane was the subject of some negative headlines in the first half of last season, as the striker managed to find the only once during first 13 appearances. Speculation around Kane’s future and Tottenham’s bizarre end of season tour of Australia may well have influenced his stuttering start however, and once the England international got going, there was no stopping him. Kane recovered in time to surge up the goal scoring charts and finish with 25 goals. A total that saw him win the 2015/16 Premier League golden boot.
Fast forward a year and you could be forgiven for thinking Harry Kane finds himself in a similar situation this time out. A forgettable time at this summer’s European Championships in France saw the attacker fail to score and look well off the pace despite insisting that he was not “tired” and that “burnout is not a worry”. A short break followed the Euro’s before it was business as usual in preparing for the new season, though reporting back just under two weeks before Spurs kicked off the new opening Premier League weekend Everton was later than most.
That being said, Kane did manage to bag a brace in Oslo against Inter, which was certainly seen as a good sign for Spurs fans who were licking their lips at the prospect of their front man being ready to fire as soon as the season started.
The curtain raiser didn’t quite go to plan however. By Tottenham and Mauricio Pochettino’s high standards, their 1-1 draw against Everton was a disappointing start to the campaign, and their sluggish performance leaves much to be improved upon. Kane himself admitted after the game to being “probably not 100%” so his game time will now likely be managed a little more carefully; especially following the summer arrival of Vincent Janssen.
Another reason for the success had by both Kane and Tottenham last season was the contribution of Moussa Dembélé to the team. The Belgian midfielder is currently suspended following an eye gouge he gave to Chelsea’s Diego Costa at the end of the last season, but should his return coincide with the return to full fitness of Harry Kane then things may well start to click at White Hart Lane. In the 11 games that Dembele missed last season, Kane only managed to score one of his 25 goals. His other 24 goals came in just the 27 games that Dembele started. An incredible stat that has been overlooked by many.
Spurs teammates Deli Alli and Eric Lamela also endured busy off-seasons with the latter being involved with Argentina in their Copa América Centenario campaign in the United States. Both being key players and neither tasting success over the summer months, the pair hitting the ground running sooner rather than later now back in the Premier League would also be to the benefit of Kane, such is their ability to create chances.
So as is often the case at Tottenham, there are certainly a few hurdles to overcome in order to achieve the success their fans have been craving for so long. But as for Harry Kane, even with these hurdles and a potential slow start for the second season running, it would be very foolish to rule him out of finishing top of the charts once again.