England’s Harry Kane, the most creative Number 9 and one of the world’s best strikers | Sunday Observer

England’s Harry Kane, the most creative Number 9 and one of the world’s best strikers

9 April, 2023

Harry Kane, MBE is a professional footballer who captains the England team and plays for the Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur. A prolific goal scorer, Kane is regarded as one of the best strikers in the world. He is Tottenham’s all-time top goal scorer, England’s joint-highest all-time top goal scorer, and the third-highest Premier League all-time top goal scorer.

Kane has scored 53 goals in 80 appearances for England. He is predominantly known for his clinical finishing and prolific goals coring ability as an out-and-out striker, he is also known for his vision, technique, link-up play, and passing ability, which enables him to drop deep, bring his teammates into play, and create chances for other players.

In 2022, Sam McGuire of Opta Sports identified Harry Kane as “the most creative number 9 in the world.” He is also known as an accurate penalty taker and for his defensive work-rate. In 2015/16 and 2016/17 seasons, he finished as the league’s top goal scorer. In the latter campaign, he helped Tottenham finish as the runners-up and was named PFA Fans’ Player of the Year.

Kane registered his best campaign statistically to date in the 2017/18 season, with 41 goals in 48 games across all competitions, and in the following season, he finished as a runner-up in the UEFA Champions League. He ended the 2020/21 season as the league’s top goal scorer and top assist provider. Kane featured and scored during England’s successful UEFA Euro 2016 tournament.

He was named England captain just before the 2018 FIFA World Cup, where he finished as competition’s top goal scorer, winning the Golden Boot, leading England to fourth place, their highest finish since 1990. He also led England to the runner-up position at UEFA Euro 2020, marking their first appearance in a final at the tournament and their first major final since 1966.

Birth and Growth

Harry Edward Kane was born on July 28, 1993 in Walthamstow, London to Kim and Patrick Kane. He played football from a young age, joining a local club, Ridgeway Rovers, when he was six in 1999. The family moved to Chingford where Kane attended Larkswood Primary Academy until 2004, followed by Chingford Foundation School.

At 8, Kane joined the Arsenal youth academy and at 11, Watford academy. Later, Kane began his career at Tottenham Hotspur and was loaned out to clubs across the English football pyramid. In July 2009, on his 16th birthday, he signed a scholarship with Tottenham. He appeared and scored at every youth level and made a goal scoring debut with the senior team in March 2015, at 21.

Kane was in a relationship with Katie Goodland, whom he has known since childhood. In July, 2017, Kane announced his engagement to her and they married in June 2019. They are blessed with three children: Ivy Jane Kane on January 8, 2017; Vivienne Jane Kane on August 8, 2018; Louis Harry Kane on December 29, 2020.

Kane was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2019 New Year Honours for services to football. In October 2022, Kane launched the Harry Kane Foundation, which “seeks to change perceptions of mental health by normalising conversations and promoting positive habits to end stigma around the subject.”

International Career

At the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup, he made his debut in a 3–0 win against Uruguay. Later, Kane was named in the England squad to face Lithuania and he made his international debut at Wembley Stadium scoring his first goal.

On June 10, 2017, Kane captained England for the first time in their 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier with Scotland, scoring an added-time equaliser to rescue a 2–2 draw. On October 5, he scored an added-time winner against Slovenia which confirmed England’s qualification to the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Kane was made captain for the 2018 FIFA World Cup and scored both goals for England in a 2–1 win over Tunisia. In the next game, he scored a hat-trick in England’s 6–1 win over Panama, which was England’s largest ever World Cup victory and Kane became the third England player to score a hat-trick in a World Cup match, after Geoff Hurst against West Germany in the 1966 final and Gary Lineker against Poland in 1986.

Kane scored his sixth goal of the finals as England overcame Colombia in the Round of 16. Scoring a penalty in a match that finished 1–1 after 120 minutes, also scoring in the penalty shoot-out as England prevailed 4–3; this was the first time that England had managed to win a penalty shoot-out at the World Cup.

His six goals earned him the Golden Boot as the top goal scorer of the World Cup, the first England player to win the award since Gary Lineker in 1986.At the 2018 UEFA Nations League, England lost the first match with Spain 2–1 but in a later match won 3–2 with Kane assisting two of the three goals.

On November 14, before a friendly against the United States, Kane presented Wayne Rooney with England’s Golden Boot in recognition of his 53 goals for England. Kane captained England in their final Nations League group match against Croatia as the Three Lions won 2–1. In the qualifying round of UEFA Euro 2020, Kane captained the 1,000th match played by England, and scored a hat-trick against Montenegro. This brought his tally to 31, which made him the highest-ever scoring England captain.

At the UEFA Euro 2020, Kane was in fine form throughout the qualifying process, becoming the first Englishman to score in every game in a qualifying campaign, registering a total of twelve goals. In the round of 16, Kane scored the second goal against Germany. This was his first goal of the tournament. The match resulted in a 2–0 victory for England.

He scored a further two goals in the quarter-finals match against Ukraine. In the semi-finals against Denmark, Kane scored the winning goal in a 2–1 triumph that secured England’s place in the Euro 2020 Final, the country’s first final in a major competition since 1966, which they lost to Italy.

At the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Albania and San Marino, Kane scored back-to-back first-half hat-tricks (including a “perfect hat-trick” against the former and four goals against the latter) to help secure England’s qualification to the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification.

At the 2022/23 UEFA Nations League, Kane scored his 50th international goal against Germany, making him only the second player to score 50 goals for England. At the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Kane scored twice, enough to equal Rooney’s all-time top-scoring record, as England reached the quarter-finals with France.

Club Career

Kane signed his first professional contract with Tottenham Hotspur in July 2010 and moved to Leyton Orient on loan in January 2011. He scored his first first-team goal against Sheffield Wednesday. Then, scored twice in a 4–1 win over Bristol Rovers and ended the season with five goals in 18 matches.

On August 25, 2011, Kane made his first appearance for Tottenham. He went on to make six appearances in the Europa League, scoring his first Tottenham goal in 4–0 win over Shamrock Rovers.

He joined Millwall on loan in January 2012 and scored nine goals in 27 matches which resulted in him being named Millwall’s Young Player of the Year for 2011/12. Kane spent pre-season 2012/13 season with Tottenham, scoring a hat-trick in a 6–0 win against Southend United and made his Premier League debut, against Newcastle United.

In August 2012, Kane joined Premier League team Norwich City on a season-long loan. Then joined Leicester City and made 13 appearances. He scored his first Tottenham goal of 2013/14 season against Hull City. On April 7, 2014, Kane was given his first Premier League start for Tottenham and scored his first Premier League goal in a 5–1 win against Sunderland.

Kane made his first appearance of 2014/15 against West Ham. On October 23, 2014, Kane scored his first professional hat-trick for Tottenham in a 5–1 win over Asteras Tripoli. On November 2, he scored his first Premier League goal against Aston Villa. On January 1, 2015, Kane scored twice as Tottenham defeated rivals Chelsea 5–3. He also scored two goals in a 3–0 win against West Bromwich Albion. His performances led him to be named as the Premier League Player of the Month for January 2015.

In February 2015, Kane signed a new five-and-a-half-year contract with the club. After scoring goals against Arsenal, Liverpool and West Ham United, Kane was named as the Premier League Player of the Month for February 2015. Then, he scored his first Premier League hat-trick in a 4–3 win over Leicester.

On April 5, Kane captained Tottenham for the first time against Burnley at Turf Moor. He scored his 30th goal in a 3–1 win against Newcastle United, making him the first Tottenham player to reach the milestone and was voted the PFA Young Player of the Year.

On October 25, 2015, after Tottenham conceded a first-minute goal, Kane scored a hat-trick, to secure a 5–1 triumph over Bournemouth. On December 19, Kane made his 100th appearance for the club in a 2–0 win over Southampton, scoring his 10th goal in his last 10 matches. He added two more in a 3–0 win over Norwich, putting him on 27 Premier League goals for 2015. In January 2016, he scored his 50th goal for Tottenham in a 2–2 draw against Leicester.

Kane was Premier League Player of the Month for the third time in March 2016, after scoring five goals in four games. With his 22nd league goal of the season in a 1–1 draw against Liverpool, Kane became the club’s highest goal scorer in a single Premier League season.

Kane ended the season with 25 goals, winning the Premier League Golden Boot. He was named in the PFA Team of the Year for the second consecutive season. Kane captained Tottenham in their opening match of 2016/17 season. He opened his scoring account in the fourth match providing the final goal in a 4–0 win over Stoke City.

On September 14, 2016, Kane made his UEFA Champions League debut. On January 1, 2017, he made his 100th Premier League appearance. In his first match after the birth of his daughter, Kane scored a hat-trick in a 4–0 win against West Brom. In the fifth round of the 2016/17 FA Cup, Kane scored all three goals as Tottenham beat Fulham 3–0.

On February 26, Kane scored second consecutive hat-trick in consecutive domestic games. The first of these goals was his 100th in club football. He was named Player of the Month for the fourth time in February 2017.Kane finished as the top scorer of the Premier League with 29 goals, and thus won his second consecutive Golden Boot, becoming only the fifth to do so.

His opening goal against Everton on September 9, was his 100th overall for the club, coming in his 169th appearance. On September 26, Kane scored his first UEFA Champions League hat-trick in a 3–0 win against Cypriot champions APOEL. He was awarded Premier League Player of the Month for the fifth time in September 2017.

On December 23, Kane equalled Alan Shearer’s record of 36 Premier League goals in a calendar year and surpassed the record in the following game with another hat-trick in the 5–2 win against Southampton. The hat-trick, his sixth of the year in the Premier League also made him the first player in Premier League history to score six hat-tricks in a year.

With a total of 56 goals scored in all competitions for the year, he also became Europe’s top goal scorer of 2017, breaking the seven-year dominance of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. On June 8, Kane signed a new contract to keep him at the club until 2024.He scored the opening goal against Cardiff City on January 1, 2019, and became the first player to have scored a goal against every Premier League team he has faced.

Kane started Tottenham’s first game of the 2019–20 season, scoring twice in a 3–1 home win against Aston Villa. Kane’s first goal was his first at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. On June 23, in his 200th Premier League appearance, he scored his first goal of 2020 against West Ham, sealing a 2–0 win.

Kane scored his first goal of the 2020/21season in the Europa League match against Lokomotiv Plovdiv, helping the team to win 2–1. His first league goal came in the second league match giving Spurs a 5–2 win over Southampton. This is the first time in Premier League history a player has provided four assists to the same teammate in a match and Kane became just the sixth player in Premier League history to assist four goals in a single match, and the first English player to do so.

He scored his 200th goal for Tottenham in his 300th appearance in the 3–1 win over Ludogorets. Kane scored in Tottenham’s 2–0 victory over rivals Arsenal making him the record highest goal scorer in the history of the North London Derby with 11 goals. It was also Kane’s 100th home goal for Tottenham in all competitions and his 250th career goal for club and country.

On January 2, 2021, Kane converted a penalty to open the scoring and later provided an assist during Tottenham’s 3–0 victory over Leeds United. This brought both Kane’s goal and assist tally in the league to 10, making him the first player in Europe’s top five leagues to reach double digits for goals and assists in 2020/21 season.

Kane won his third Golden Boot award and also the Premier League Playmaker of the Season award for most assists in a season, becoming the first player to win both awards in the same season. On September 30, 2021, he scored a hat-trick in 20 minutes against Mura to win 5–1.

This was the first hat-trick ever scored in the Europa Conference League, and made Kane the first player to score a hat-trick in all three current major UEFA club competitions - Champions League, Europa League, and Europa Conference League.

Kane’s goal against Wolverhampton Wanderers made him the first player to score 185 goals in the Premier League for a single club. On March 11, 2023, Kane scored his 269th and 270th goals for Tottenhamin a 3–1 victory against Nottingham Forest to become their all-time top scorer.

(The author is an Associate Professor, International Scholar, winner of Presidential Awards and multiple National Accolades for Academic pursuits. He possesses a PhD, MPhil, and double MSc. His email is [email protected])