Could Harry Kane have played his last home game for Tottenham Hotspur? The club’s all-time record goalscorer led the line for his side and scored his 28th Premier League goal of the season in their 3-1 defeat against Brentford on Saturday afternoon.
The striker scored a sublime goal that was perfectly placed into the top-right corner of the goal as he was teed up by Dejan Kulusevski as part of a well-worked free-kick routine. But his excellence was undone as Bryan Mbeumo scored twice, before Yoane Wissa's late strike completed an incredible comeback for the Bees.
Thomas Frank's side are having a strong finish to the campaign and head into the final game with a chance of qualifying for European football. It was a narrative we have seen time and again from Spurs this term, very good in one half, woeful in the other. And now Kane will definitely be considering his future as his efforts have been far greater than his teammates.
Kane’s current tally is his third best in a single Premier League season and the magic of Manchester City’s Erling Haaland has shadowed Kane’s own majesty this year. 28 goals would have been enough to win him the Golden Boot in 19 other Premier League seasons, which just further reflects how incredible Haaland’s introduction to England has been. Kane has been a prolific goalscorer in the Premier League but this year has arguably been his best to date, with Spurs experiencing problems on the field and behind the scenes.
The England captain has been constantly linked with a move away from the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium throughout the season, with many outlets reporting a high interest from Erik ten Hag at Manchester United. Spurs can finish no higher than sixth in the Premier League this year, whereas United can still finish inside the top four - despite getting through the season without a prolific number nine.
This is something Ten Hag is hoping to address in the summer and he is believed to be a huge admirer of Kane, who would know doubt significantly strengthen the Red Devils’ front line. But why would Kane go now when he hasn’t in the past, you may ask? For the first time in his Spurs career it seems that he might have started to realise that his silverware ambitions cannot be achieved with Spurs.
The turbulent period since chairman Daniel Levy made the rash decision to sack Mauricio Pochettino in 2019 has led to stagnation, considering this team was once considered title challengers, as well as reaching the Champions League final in 2018-19.
Spurs lead 1-0.
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Elite coaches such as Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte couldn’t turn the club’s fortunes around and end its lengthy trophy drought. Kane has been managed by three coaches this term, including two interim bosses in Cristian Stellini and Ryan Mason. It will be clear to him now just how far behind Spurs are to their top six rivals in structure on and off the field. Tottenham still need to sort a sporting director following Fabio Paratici’s exit, as well as the permanent head coach from 2023-24
Regardless of whether Spurs qualify for European football or not (with Brentford's win has them one point behind Spurs heading into the final game of the season), in the summer, the 29-year-old has a huge decision to make. He needs to decide if he wants a greater legacy than just being Spurs’ record goalscorer, and potentially having the same honour in the Premier League. Not to mention a player of his talents should be playing in the Champions League year after year. Kane’s goalscoring prowess, and exceptional creative abilities would be of huge value to clubs in a position to compete for major titles.
The greatest players in England, as well as Europe, are judged on their trophy cabinets first, before their individual accolades. While Kane chases down Shearer’s top flight goals record, many will deem him an inferior player as the latter won a title with Blackburn Rovers.
In July, Kane will turn 30, and many believe the period he is about to enter are the peak years of his career. At that age, a player usually has one last opportunity to secure a big move, and this summer will be the forward’s chance to seek a new challenge. From Spurs’ point of view, they aren’t inclined to sell but they could potentially get £100 million for him in the summer, or risk getting nothing as his current deal expires in 2024.
He has been a magnificent servant for Spurs over the past nine years and has given the supporters some memories that will last a lifetime. Many of them are coming to terms with him possibly heading for the exit in the summer. There’s no malice on their part. They’re just frustrated that he wasn’t surrounded by players of a similar ability to help him deliver this club some much-needed success.
If this ends up being his last appearance in white at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Kane has given the fans another goal they will never forget and nothing will ever tarnish his legend at this football club.