In somewhat controversial manner, Harry Kane became the 26th player to join the Premier League 100 Goals Club on Sunday evening, as Liverpool and Tottenham duked it out in a game for the ages at Anfield. Words by Victoria Doramus.
Having missed a penalty that would’ve given Tottenham the lead in a titanic tussle, Kane was handed an unlikely second attempt to score from the spot in added time in front of the Kop End.
Such a moment requires nerves of steel. Kane had fluffed his first chance, uncharacteristically scuffing a spot-kick straight down the throat of Loris Karius. He made no such errors with his second try.
Standing amidst a chorus of boos and home fans baying for blood, Kane stepped up and slotted the penalty into the bottom right corner with aplomb. The relieve and joy on his face showed in equal measure. On the touchline, a bitter Jurgen Klopp was sarcastically applauding the linesman for his role in handing Tottenham another penalty.
In actual fact, there was no disputing that £75m signing Virgil Van Dijk fouled Erik Lamela in the box. The Dutchman attempted to clear a loose ball in the box, but instead he caught Lamela, who had nipped in ahead of Van Dijk.
Initially, the referee dismissed the appeals and played on. However, he then stopped play after realising that his assistant referee was flagging on the touchline. He felt it was a penalty and John Moss therefore decided to – rightfully – trust his man. A penalty was awarded and the rest is history.
Going back to Kane, his achievement in reaching a century of league goals is quite astounding, given where his career was only four seasons ago. The striker has gone from Tottenham laughing stock, unwanted even by his own fans, to arguably the best centre forward in world football. That’s not hyperbole either; Robert Lewandowski might want a word with that statement, but there are not many strikers around Europe that can match Kane’s finishing, prowess and all round game.
Rewind four seasons, and Harry Kane was earning his stripes in the Championship with Millwall. Highly rated as a youngster coming through the Spurs youth team, it never quite happened for him at White Hart Lane. He was sent on loan in his early days to Leyton Orient, Millwall and Leicester City. He hardly shined during any of the aforementioned loans, scoring just 9 league goals in a combined 35 games.
He came back to Tottenham in 2014 and it was in April of that year that he made his first Premier League start for his boyhood club. It wasn’t until the 2014-15 season that Kane made the centre forward spot his own at Spurs.
In the space of three seasons, then, the striker has amassed 100 goals, a rate rarely seen in the Premier League. When Alan Shearer scored the last of his record 260 league goals in 2005, it was assumed that his tally would be unmatched for a very long time; Harry Kane is threatening to destroy that figure.
If he maintains this current rate, he’ll reach 200 league goals in three seasons, and he’ll only be 27 years old and entering his peak years. Wayne Rooney was once the chosen one to usurp Shearer, but it looks more likely now that Kane will be that man.
This is all quite presumptuous, of course. A lot can happen in football, as the cliche goals, and it remains to be seen if Harry Kane will remain at Spurs to break domestic records. He’s long been linked with a £200m move to Real Madrid, who are surely going to go all put in procuring a number 9 in the summer. Manchester United, too, have thrown admiring glances towards Kane, but it seems unlikely that he’d move to a league rival if he was to ever leave White Hart Lane.
For now, he’ll continue to fire Spurs into the top four. They might never quite challenge for a league title, such is the financial and on-pitch strength of the two Manchester clubs, but Kane will surely stick around to welcome in a new era at the new White Hart Lane next season. The upcoming World Cup in Russia also provides a chance for Kane to showcase his world-class talent on the world stage.