3 reasons why Tottenham could struggle to finish in the top four without Harry Kane | Premier League 2019-20
The new year started on a sour note for Tottenham Hotspur, as not only did they lose their first game of the decade to Southampton, but also saw their captain hobble off the field with what appeared to be a muscle problem.
Recent tests conducted have revealed what all Spurs fans feared and it has been estimated that the England international would be ruled out for at least four months, meaning that Harry Kane would play no part in the rest of Tottenham's campaign. This is a less than ideal situation for the club, especially with games coming thick and fast in three competitions, while their hopes of a top-four finish are also in serious jeopardy.
Having entered the top four just once in the first 24 years of the Premier League, Tottenham have secured Champions League qualification in each of the last four seasons and following their run to the final last term, the bare minimum expected this season is a top-four finish.
Few months into the campaign, that looked like a pipe dream but the arrival of Jose Mourinho coupled with the inconsistencies of Chelsea means that the Lilywhites are still in with a shout for the last Champions League spot.
However, Harry Kane's injury is a major setback that could hamper their chances of securing a top-four finish and in this piece, we shall be highlighting three factors why Kane's absence could derail the club's quest for Champions League qualification.
#3 He is one of the best in the world at what he does
Harry Kane has come a long way from the distrusted striker who was sent out on multiple loans to sides like Norwich, Leyton Orient, and Millwall and while his returns at these clubs did not do much to inspire confidence, then-manager Tim Sherwood seemingly saw something in him to make him the first-choice striker at the expense of expensive flop Roberto Soldado.
It was an opportunity that was grabbed with aplomb and Kane has transformed into a lethal weapon in front of goal, with his precision with both feet, as well as ability in the air making him a complete striker.
Two consecutive Premier League Golden Boots were won in 2016 and 2017, as well as the 2018 World Cup Golden Boot, while his international record of 32 goals from just 45 matches for England is impressive, to say the least.
His crowning moment came in 2017 when he outscored both Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in the calendar year and is currently 13th on the all-time list of Premier League goalscorers with 136 goals. Simply put, Kane is high up there with the best strikers in the world and every club on the planet would benefit from his impressive goalscoring ratio.
His long-term injury has robbed Tottenham off the services of arguably the best striker in the Premier League and his absence could seriously hamper their chances of finishing in the top four.
#2 The club lacks a proven goalscorer
Following the announcement of Kane's injury, it was expected that the club would turn to the market to get a replacement and Jose Mourinho stated as much, with names like Olivier Giroud, Odion Ighalo, Luka Jovic, and Krzysztof Piątek among those linked with the club.
However, nothing came of those speculations, with the only new arrivals being those of Steven Bergwijn and Gedson Fernandes, who although are exciting prospects lack the requisite experience and nous to deliver on the grandest stage.
Elsewhere in the squad, Heung-Min Son is a decent scorer in his own right but the Korean international has never scored more than 15 league goals in a single season, while Dele Alli as blown hot and cold for the last two years after his explosive start to life in the Premier League.
Goals win matches and points and the absence of a proven goalscorer in the current Tottenham squad could see them struggle to displace Chelsea and Leicester from the top four.
#1 Harry Kane's experience would have come in handy in the league run-in
Despite being just 26 years, it is not far-fetched to suggest that Harry Kane is one of the most experienced members of the current Tottenham squad. His status as a world-class striker has made him an ever-present in the North London side over the last six years and he is already closing in on 200 Premier League appearances while also nearing the half-century mark for his country.
Proof of his importance lies in the fact that Kane currently acts in the capacity of Three Lions captain, while he is also the vice-captain for Tottenham and regularly wears the armband for the North London club in the absence of Hugo Lloris.
Harry Kane is a seasoned veteran of many Premier League run-ins and has first-hand experience of what it takes to get over the finish line in the top four race. With his injury, the dressing room has been robbed of his invaluable experience.
Published 05 Feb 2020, 21:46 IST