Tottenham get bleak picture of life without Harry Kane as Daniel Levy talks loom
There is no player in the top flight whose goals have been more significant to their club than Harry Kane.
His 28 in the Premier League this season have won Tottenham 24 of their 57 points, or a staggering 42 per cent. Take him out of the side, and Spurs would be level with 17th-placed Everton and mired in a relegation battle going into the final day (although, obviously, someone else would have scored a few in his place).
Also important, but some way behind Kane, is Brentford’s Ivan Toney, whose 20 League goals account for 16 of Bees’ 56 points (28.5 per cent). Not that you would have known it on Saturday, when Brentford began their extended spell without Toney with an impressive 3-1 win over Kane’s Spurs in north London.
Thomas Frank, the Bees boss, had promised to find “in-house” solutions to Toney’s eight-month suspension for admitting a raft of FA betting charges and, sure enough, Bryan Mbeumo and Yoane Wissa were on target, as the visitors came from behind to move to within a point of sinking Spurs.
Mbeumo’s well-taken double turned the game on its head after the interval, suggesting he can lead the side until Toney returns in January. Wissa added a third, continuing his record of stepping up when Toney is missing, just as he did with goals in the wins over West Ham and Liverpool.
When Frank lost Neal Maupay in 2019, he converted Ollie Watkins to centre-forward, and he could conceivably do the same with Mbeumo, Wissa or January signing Kevin Schade, who made up the front three.
In stark contrast, here was another timely reminder for Spurs of just how bleak life would be without Kane, in what could conceivably have been his final home game for the club.
The England captain, who is entering the final year of his contract, opened the scoring with a stunning free-kick — albeit after a neat touch from Dejan Kulusevski — and if he can start scoring consistently from set-pieces, there will be no weaknesses left in his game.
Kane collected all three of Spurs’s player-of-the-season awards amid an astonishing lack of competition
Ahead of a depressing lap of honour in front of a largely empty stadium, Kane collected all three of Spurs’s player-of-the-season awards — not the type of prizes he craves anymore — amid an astonishing lack of competition; none of his team-mates were even close to also being in contention.
Afterwards, Kane was asked directly if he thought he had played his final home game for Spurs. He refused to say either way, only reiterating that he was planning to hold talks with chairman Daniel Levy over the state of the club.
“I’ve said all along I’m focused on this season and trying to help the team as much as possible,” Kane replied. “That’s all I can do. There’s a big summer ahead and a lot that needs to change here to start being successful again. Ultimately, my focus now is to enjoy this last week as much as possible and try to finish with a win [at Leeds] on Sunday.
“I think there’s a conversation [with the chairman] to be had anyway, in terms of some of the values of the club. We’ve had many conversations before like that, and that will be the case again.”
Kane has far more leverage this summer than he did two years ago, when he tried to force a move to Manchester City, but Levy will presumably tell the striker that Spurs have no interest in selling him and that things will improve under a new boss and director of football.
No one should be in any doubt, though, that Kane is currently the most important person at the club.