(DISCLAIMER: I’m not even a Spurs fan)
It’s always been a clichéd debate in footballing circles – who is the best striker in the Premier League? The players change, the argument never goes away. Cases can be made for several players in the current installment of this never ending saga: Sergio Aguero, the Argentine hawk who can turn on a sixpence and has the instinctive finishing reminiscent of Gabriel Batistuta. Romelu Lukaku, the man machine who bullies defences like a young Didier Drogba. Alongside these are this season’s newboys: Alexandre Lacazatte, the tricky Frenchman with wonderful footwork and an impressive goal-scoring record. Alvaro Morata, the Real Madrid youth prospect come good who then, in typical Los Blancós fashion, was sold. However, there is one man who outshines them all and is, one day, destined to top the all-time Premier League goal scorers chart: Harry Kane.
This debate comprises of two separate parts, one of which is explaining why Harry Kane is the best in the league and, on the contrary, why others aren’t. What stat do you open with to make the case for Kane? He’s outscored Cristiano Ronaldo in 2017 and he’s scored 80 Premier League goals faster than any of the aforementioned players. He already has more Premier League hat-tricks than Robin van Persie or Didier Drogba, He’s scored more goals than van Nistelrooy, Shearer, Benzema and even Thierry Henry than when they were at the same age, despite Kane starting his first team career later than these players. Some criticisms commonly levelled at Kane include a wrongly assigned lack of pace in comparison to other players. Whilst clearly he doesn’t have the blistering pace unleashed by Gabriel Jesus or Lacazette, he’s no slouch either, as proven by his first goal against Borussia Dortmund last week. The misconception that he goes missing in big games is simply libelous. Considering he’s never not scored in a North London derby, has four goals in six games in his European career and is hitting the golden 1:2 ratio at international level for England. Perhaps the most common reasoning for dismissing Kane (or lack of) is that a lot of people just can’t understand why he is so good. Whether it is because he’s English, tall, or has a relatively boring name, people will find any way to deny him his due praise, despite his back-to-back Premier League golden boots.
No other player in the Premier League has possession of the full skillset that he has at his disposal, including a first touch that Romelu Lukaku simply dreams of. He also has the strength and power of being 6’2 that a smaller player like Lacazette or Jesus simply can’t achieve. He possesses a passing range & instinctive link-up play that separates him from = Aguero, who undisputedly matches Kane in finishing but withers in comparison to Kane’s work rate and ability to seamlessly transgress between playing the role of a traditional centre forward number 9 and a trequartista number 10.
If you’re still unconvinced perhaps the most astonishing fact of all is that he is scoring at the exact same rate as Lionel Messi at the same age (0.67 goals/per game). If that doesn’t convince you just how special this man is, to have a comparable goal scoring record to arguably the best player ever to grace the beautiful game, then you must be a disgruntled Arsenal fan, bitter that he’s not one of your own…
The Hurricane, the lone-ranger, the one season wonder – this man has been called it all. Rooney, Shearer, Raul – he’s been compared to them all. In pure footballing terms he’s got it all and ultimately has the potential to go on and win it all. Harry Kane, the best striker in the Premier League.