A historic season for Tottenham’s Harry Kane

Tottenham Stadium erupted into cheers on Saturday, May 6 as Harry Kane’s header found the back of the net. It came off a cross from the right wing by Pedro Porro, swinging out to the far post before being directed off the ground past Crystal Palace’s goalkeeper Sam Johnstone. This was the goal that secured Tottenham’s 1-0 win over Palace, but for Kane himself, it meant something much more.  

It marked his 209th goal in the Premier League, putting him in second place, past English legend Wayne Rooney and only 51 goals behind Alan Shearer’s record. For Kane, a 29-year-old striker who in the last five seasons has averaged 20.2 goals, this record is well within reach for him, barring major injury. This figure is even more impressive when taking into account that Kane has been out of his goal-scoring prime in recent seasons. It excludes Kane’s magnificent performances in Tottenham in 2015-2018, in which he won two Golden Boots and tallied an average of 28.0 goals per season. The current season has been a golden reminder of his prime years (26 goals with three games still to play), and if Kane continues this form into next year, we could see him topple the goals record in as few as two seasons. He stated this of his personal health and longevity in a March interview: “I don’t like to look too far ahead because a lot can happen in football. But I’m 29, I’m feeling fit and I’m feeling strong. I’m feeling probably the best I’ve felt in my career so far, so I hope I have many more years.”  

This recent achievement does not stand alone or at the forefront of Kane’s record-breaking tradition this season. He became Tottenham’s record goal scorer on Feb. 5, surpassing Jimmy Greaves with 267 goals for the club. Kane described the feeling as “surreal, a magical feeling,” and in a press conference following the match, Tottenham assistant manager Cristian Stellini coolly remarked, “Harry Kane is football.”  

In addition to this, Kane has had significant achievements at the national level. Less than two months after breaking the Tottenham club goalscoring record, he stepped up to the penalty spot in the England uniform during a EURO 2024 qualifying match. He blasted the ball past the Italian goalkeeper to mark his 54th goal for his country—overtaking none other than Wayne Rooney and becoming England’s all-time record goal-scorer. Finally, he captained the England squad to the quarterfinals in the 2022 Qatar World Cup, falling to a strong France side.  

Despite these monumental individual achievements, Kane does not have much silverware under his belt. The Spurs haven’t acquired any trophies in domestic or European competition since long before Kane made his debut at the club, and with his contract set to expire at the end of the 2023-2024 season, other clubs have been courting the world-class striker. The addition of Kane would be a deadly option for any of the world’s best clubs, including Manchester United. Since Christiano Ronaldo’s departure and the arrival of injury problems for Anthony Martial, the team has lacked a true striker. Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has nominated Kane as his priority striker target for the summer, and it will be hard for Tottenham to compete with United’s coffers. Coupled with the underwhelming performance and inconsistency the Spurs have faced this season, this makes an enticing offer for Kane, who is hungry for trophies and has hinted dissatisfaction at his current club’s lack of direction. After such a dazzling individual performance from Kane, it remains to be seen whether he will decide to stay loyal to the Spurs or end this chapter of his career on a high note and search for European glory elsewhere.