Harry Kane: World Class Striker?

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With only his third touch of his debut game for England last night, Harry Kane scored his 30th goal of the season. Kane currently sits atop the Premier League scoring charts, but does that mean he is world class? Perhaps the 21 year old is just a flash in the pan. Perhaps not, though.

Looking at Kane’s attributes, we see that he has an impressive array of tools with which to contribute to any team:

Goals: 30 in all competitions. In the Premier League, he has 19 goals (10 with his right foot, 5 with his left foot, and 4 with his head).

Technique: Kane’s first touch is quality. He rarely gives the ball away and often looks to receive in tight situations. He is right foot dominant, but can score, pass, and cross with his left. Strong in the air, at 6’2 he is more than a handful for opposition defenders if he needs to mix his game up, too.

Tactical sense: For a 21 year old, he has an acute sense of being in the right place at the right time to score goals. However, no less impressive is his ability to find pockets of space in the middle and final third. He is not afraid to play 1 and 2 touch when necessary to keep a move flowing, but he also recognizes when it is on to hold play up.

Dribbling ability: For a big man, Kane has duped many defenders this year with his electric change of pace. Combined with his impressive first touch, he presents a credible threat on the dribble and has the confidence to beat players and leave them behind.

Work rate: Often deployed as a lone striker for Spurs in a team that is known for pressing teams. Covers a lot of ground for his teammates.

Attitude: The only headlines Kane is currently making are about his goals. Doesn’t appear to talk back to referees, or get involved in duels with other players (a la Diego Costa). Seems a genuine guy.

Overall: Kane has the tools to become a world class striker. Let’s not get carried away, though. He needs to do this all again next year, and the following year to be considered world class. Furthermore, he needs to play and score goals in the Champions League and he needs to play and score goals for England. Assuming Kane remains injury free, he may repeat his feats of this season next year, but for the last two, he probably needs to move to a bigger club. It is unlikely Spurs will make the Champions League this season, so, unless Kane transfers to a top 4 team, we won’t begin to know if he can do what he does on the biggest stage. If he does move, it could upset his game. I recommend he stays with Spurs for at least another 2-3 seasons  (like Gareth Bale did). He’s only 21 and he’s not world class yet.

Do you want to learn how to train strikers like Harry Kane and develop the attacking mindset in all of your players? Read my book, It Pays to Win on Offense: A Game-based Approach to Developing Soccer Players that Create and Score lots of Goals.

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