There are no bounds to his brilliance. No need to talk anymore about potential or promise. And no need to hold back. Harry Kane is the class of the Premier League. He might just be one of the two or three best strikers in the world. And he continues to show why.
The latest exhibit was the main display of Tottenham’s 4-0 victory at pesky Huddersfield Town on Saturday. Kane struck twice, once with either foot, and helped create a third. Even his misses and disallowed goals were impressive.
He has brought, is bringing and will bring irrepressible joy to Tottenham reminiscent of that which Gareth Bale so memorably delivered at White Hart Lane for several seasons earlier this decade. And Kane is already more clinical. He is downright unforgiving. Make a mistake, and he will invariably punish you. That’s what Huddersfield left back Chris Lowe did Saturday. And, well …
But Kane doesn’t need mistakes. Doesn’t even need much space.
In the 23rd minute, he picked up the ball with his back to goal, a defender right at his rear, and a midfielder doubling down on him. So he dropped his shoulder, eluded both Terriers, dipped inside, took three precise touches, and struck a left-footed shot that might as well have come off Cristiano Ronaldo’s right boot:
Kane doesn’t need goals to wow us all either. He ripped an 18th-minute volley just over Jonas Lossl’s crossbar. The trajectory and power, coupled with the ripple of the top of the net, inspired awe.
Later, he put an acrobatic volley past Lossl. The goal was ruled out for offside, and rightly so. Kane isn’t perfect. He mistimed the arc of his run when sneaking in at the back post from out wide. But the finish was lovely.
The other thing about Kane is that he is every bit the modern striker. Goals and shots are only part of his game. He’s integral to Tottenham’s build-up play as well. In the very first minute of Saturday’s match, he dropped into midfield to receive and then circulate the ball. Spurs held possession on the right, and then with Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen occupying the two Huddersfield center backs, Kane darted into vacant space at the top of the box to engineer an early chance.
He also played a key role in Tottenham’s exquisite second goal, the creation of which involved six consecutive one-touch passes. Kane’s was the sixth, and even if it didn’t appear to be tidy, it required loads of skill:
Kane is special. And his story makes him all the more beloved. Spurs fans still belt out one of their favorite tunes, “He’s one of our own!”, at every opportunity.
They’re also quick to remind everyone of the public’s Kane skepticism that infested newspapers and social media for far too long. “One-season wonder! He’s just a one-season wonder!”, they sung after Kane’s left-footed belter. “One-season wooooondeeeeeer! He’s just a one-season wonder!”
It wasn’t too long ago that the sustainability of Kane’s brilliance was in question. The questions now are even sillier. But they’re remarkably different. The main one: Is Harry Kane world-class?
The debate is about as ridiculous as Kane’s statistics. Seven goals in eight days; 11 in his past six games. He’s scored 36 for Tottenham in competitive matches in the calendar year 2017, which is just absurd. It’s also one more than West Ham has scored in the same time period. And his 27 in the Premier League are nine short of Alan Shearer’s record, which is well within reach.
Not every defense will be as kind as APOEL’s was midweek, or indeed as Huddersfield’s was on Saturday. The Terriers played with considerable ambition. Tottenham turned their ambition into naiveté and carelessness. Mauricio Pochettino’s side had been frustrated by conservative, defensive opponents. Huddersfield never really gave itself the chance to replicate that Spurs frustration.
But it also simply had no way to legislate for Kane, who has now scored 84 times in 123 Premier League appearances, and who is pretty close to unstoppable at the moment. His genius arouses unmitigated joy. And there are few things that appear capable of extinguishing it.
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Henry Bushnell covers soccer – the U.S. national teams, the Premier League, and much, much more – for FC Yahoo and Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Question? Comment? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @HenryBushnell.