Sunday 21 January 2018 / 10:58 AM

CAN SPURS KEEP RECORD-BREAKING KANE?

First things first, let’s take a minute to stop and properly acknowledge the insane talents of Tottenham’s Harry Kane.

He ends 2017 having scored 39 goals – more than Lionel Messi, more than Cristiano Ronaldo, and more than Alan Shearer in his annus mirabilis when he set the record of most Premier League goals in a calendar year.

Make no mistake: the boy is world-class.

And he just seems to be getting better and better.

After Kane’s first season, it was easy to dismiss him. He was dubbed a ‘one-season wonder’, like Roque Santa Cruz or Benjani.

He didn’t have anything special about his game – he wasn’t exceptional in the air, or incredibly strong, or a silky dribbler.

He was a simple, hard-working English striker, and it was inconceivable that he would continue at the same prolific rate that put him on the map in the first place.

But then he just kept scoring. And scoring. And scoring.

Two golden boots later, the captain’s armband for his country and a truly enviable record of the most Premier League goals in a calendar year EVER, and it’s fair to say that it’s become rather more difficult to dismiss Harry Kane.

He truly is the real deal, and even Tottenham haters have now reached the point where they are acknowledging that fact.

But sadly for Spurs fans, that acknowledgment seems to have coincided with Tottenham reaching something of a peak.

Of course, who knows where else they can go in seasons to come? They may get back to the new stadium, and kick on from their elevated position.

But the question remains: will Harry Kane be around to preside over their next few seasons, whether positive or negative?

I’ve got my doubts, and the reason why lies in the man that Kane has just usurped and in the record that Kane has just broken.

Despite winning the title at Blackburn, and despite his incredible striking proficiency, Alan Shearer’s career ended with just the one Premier League medal.

All his goals, and all his years of service at Newcastle United, were ultimately fruitless, as he retired with no more medals before taking the Magpies down in his one stab at relegation.

So yeah, he may have held the goal record until now, but would he have traded that for Premier League titles and a shot at the Champions League?

Only Shearer can answer that, but one thing’s for sure: it was definitely on offer.

Sir Alex Ferguson repeatedly tried to tempt the Geordie to join him at Old Trafford, and there is little doubt that the striker would have added significantly to his medal tally had he become a United player.

And it is a very Shearer-esque situation that Kane now finds himself in.

Even the most optimistic fans would have to admit that Spurs have dropped down the pecking order this season, and a cursory glance at the table confirms that fact beyond any doubt whatsoever.

Pep Guardiola has built a Man City side capable of dominating the Premier League for years to come, and there is no doubt that United are likely to spend big in pursuit of their crosstown rivals.

Antonio Conte’s reign at Chelsea appears to be coming to an end, which will no doubt result in a new manager, and some seriously heavy investment to turn the Blues back into a team capable of challenging for the title.

So where does that leave Spurs? Well, if we’re honest, probably fourth, and that’s if they can outmuscle Liverpool and Arsenal – two sides spending more on players and wages than they are.

All things considered, whilst Tottenham have improved in recent years, it doesn’t seem realistic for them to start genuinely challenging; at least not in the next couple of years.

And with that backdrop, there’s a couple of points of view.

One is to say that no one thought Spurs could challenge for the title three years ago, but since then they have been serious candidates in two races for the Premier League crown.

The other is to say that if a player is serious about ending his career with a hatful of trophies, he is unlikely to do so at White Hart Lane.

Ultimately, it depends on your perspective, and crucially in this particular instance, it depends on Harry Kane’s perspective, his ambition and his optimism.

Only time will tell, but for the first time I think there is a genuine possibility that Kane’s latest record may well be his last in a Spurs shirt.

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About the author

Seb Greenwood

CBS’s longest-serving contributor, Englishman Seb is our leading football correspondent, pulling no punches with his opinions on the Premier League and the international scene.

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