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Why Harry Kane is one of the world's best strikers, irrespective of what the doubters say

Harry Kane
Harry Kane
Modified 09 Apr 2019, 02:00 IST

England's captain Harry Kane is having one of his most modest seasons in the Premier League since becoming a regular starter for Tottenham Hotspur. It is very unlikely that he will continue his streak of scoring more league goals each season than the previous. For that to happen, Kane needs to score two goals a game for the remainder of the Premier League season.

Kane's goals in a Premier League season (the amount he had by 31st Matchday)

2014/15 - 21 (19)

2015/16 - 25 (21)

2016/17 - 29 (19)

2017/18 - 30 (24)

2018/19 - ... (17)

As with every great player having a worse season than usual, Kane has been called overrated. This opinion became especially popular last summer after the World Cup. As Kane scored three of his six goals from the penalty spot, people started to say that the English striker only scores penalties and from very close range, widely called tap-ins.


That is obviously exaggerated and meant more to imply that Kane is a very one-dimensional striker. But here's debunking that myth using statistics and comparisons with other world-class strikers.

Kane has scored 125 goals in the Premier League, playing 181 games. He has the second best goal per game ratio from all the players with more than 100 goals in the league's history. Sergio Aguero is ahead of him, but only barely.

If we take out the first two of Kane's seasons when he was an irregular player, he'd be first in the list (You have to keep in mind Aguero came to England as a proven star).

Kane has scored 18 penalty goals in his Premier League career. Taking away those from his total tally, he has 107 Premier League goals. With that amount, Kane would be only one place lower in the previously mentioned list.

If we take out every striker's penalty goals, Kane still has the second best goal per game ratio in Premier League history when considering players with at least 100 goals. That's impressive to say the least.

'Tap-ins' are possibly the most underrated goals out there. Fans tend to overlook the off-the-ball work players put in to score that 'easy' goal from close range.

Strikers at Kane's level are tightly marked by at least two defenders when they get into the penalty box. It is their job to be physically strong, quick and unpredictable to get to the incoming cross or pass first.

Let's compare Kane's league goals with three other strikers that have also played at a world-class level over the last three years - Robert Lewandowski, Sergio Aguero and Luis Suarez.

League goals in the last three seasons: inside the six-yard box, penalties, outside the box

Harry Kane - 76: 18 (6yb), 11 (p), 10 (otb)

Sergio Aguero - 60: 14 (6yb), 10 (p), 4 (otb)

Robert Lewandowski - 80: 19 (6yb), 14 (p), 5 (otb)

Luis Suarez - 74: 19 (6yb), 4 (p), 4 (otb)

As can be seen, all the numbers are very close. Kane has quite comfortably the most goals outside the box, while all four strikers have scored very similarly from the spot and close range.

This statistic highlights the fact that Kane isn't as one-dimensional as people think he is. But it doesn't necessarily show that he is better than any of the mentioned strikers.

Kane has been one of the world's best strikers for a few years now, and should be treated as such by football fans. The statement "Kane scores only penalties and tap-ins" is a myth, as the numbers show.

Published 09 Apr 2019, 02:00 IST
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