If you ask any Premier League fan who the top five players of the season so far have been, you’ll get a few different answers, but the likelihood is that there’ll be one name which is mentioned in almost every fans’ list: Harry Kane.
The Tottenham striker has had anannus mirabilisso far this season, and was in fine form again at the weekend, bagging a brace as Spurs beat QPR to move up to sixth in the table.
Kane’s stratospheric rise to prominence has resulted in all sorts of conversations about the player’s future. Roy Hodgson – the England boss – has made it clear that he is interested in seeing whether the forward can transfer his form onto the international stage and, to put it lightly, the future is looking very, very bright for the 21-year-old.
With all this being said, the spotlight that Kane has been thrust into has presented a very interesting dilemma for the player; particularly regarding the way in which he chooses to spend this year’s summer holidays.
The Under-21 European Championship takes place in the Czech Republic this summer, and if England are serious about progressing in the tournament, they’re sure to want the hottest young English prospect leading the line for them. The question is, will he?
The answer, unfortunately, isn’t a simple yes or no. It is instead a tale of two loyalties – the ever-present Club vs Country debate.
Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino has said in no uncertain terms that Spurs would rather Kane was not taken to the Republic.
“Maybe I would prefer that Harry has a month’s holiday after the season to rest and recover his body and mind,” Pochettino said.
Whilst the Argentine has steered clear of controversy by stating that he understands and emphathises with the FA’s desire for Kane to play, he has very clearly nailed his colours to a specific mast in this instance – he does not want his star striker burning out, playing too much football and heading into next season without having had a real chance to recuperate.
There’s plenty of merit to Pochettino’s opinion. The common consensus is that our footballers are playing too much football as it is, and that with more and more commercial and financial commitments in place, the stress on their minds and bodies is only going to increase. So surely it would be good for Kane to sit this summer out?
Well, according to several other leading figures in the game, it absolutely would NOT be good for that eventuality to occur.
One of the leading names to stick his head above the parapet and state his case for Kane heading to the Championships is former under 21 boss Stuart Pearce.
“Personally, and I’ve championed this all along. I think the key to the senior squad being successful is to make sure we win trophies at the younger age group,” Pearce said.
In essence, Pearce is suggesting that the quicker we can instil a winning and triumphant mindset into our players, the higher the chances of success further down the line.
With all this said, one suspects that this will be up to the player. Kane will be well aware of his need to rest, but the enthusiasm that is clearly a key part of his make up will no doubt be inspiring him to want him to take part.
We’ll know more over the next few months, but for now, there’s an interesting subplot happening at White Hart Lane. What do you think Kane should do?