It really doesn’t matter whether Harry Kane would have been wearing a Tottenham Hotspur or a Manchester City shirt – hardly anyone could have predicted that in October the England captain would not have scored a single Premier League goal.
Even if you were one of his critics who maybe had that foresight, it’s again incredible to think Kane also does not have a Premier League assist this term either – especially as he topped the division charts in both categories last season.
Yet for England, the goals keep on coming. Three in three already since the start of the campaign and it follows a summer where his four strikes were key to guiding the Three Lions to within a penalty shootout of becoming European champions.
Harry Kane has yet to score or assist a Premier League goal this season for Tottenham Hotspur
Five of Kane’s six Spurs goals have come in the UEFA Europa Conference League
No problems for the national side then, who he is currently with as they prepare for World Cup qualifiers in Andorra on Saturday before hosting Hungary at Wembley on Tuesday.
So what’s going wrong at Tottenham?
His overall numbers are not bad. Six goals from 10 games isn’t quite Kane at his best but when you take into account five of those came in the UEFA Europa Conference League against far inferior opposition, it’s easy to see why there is such a concern at White Hart Lane over the lack of key goals coming from one of the world’s best strikers and their talisman.
The elephant in the room to address is his failed, and clumsy, attempt to leave the club over the summer.
The striker is now on duty with England where he has already bagged three goals this term
In training for the Three Lions, Kane looks a happier figure than he has done at Spurs
Announcing his decision publicly at the end of last season and batting his eyelids at Manchester City by declaring a desire to play in a side featuring Kevin de Bruyne was the start.
But when a move failed to materialise before Euro 2020, reality dawned that by the time pre-season kicked off he would still be a Tottenham player.
Kane, who has a Spurs contract until 2024, returned to pre-season later than originally planned in a desperate bid to convince the club to lower their £150million demands to City.
The result was crickets. Nothing. The transfer deadline passed and Kane was stuck at Spurs. Now though he has infuriated a large section of the fanbase who had once adored him and cherished him as ‘one of their own’ and who initially could understand why he wanted to leave Spurs.
Kane’s stock with Spurs fans has taken a sharp decline since his clumsy attempt to leave
Team-mate Son Heung-min has now taken over as the club’s No 1 star after penning a new deal
After over a decade of loyal service, supporters had sympathised with the striker wanting to leave to chase trophies given the lack of ambition displayed by the club for the same goals. But his actions from pre-season soured those feelings.
It hasn’t improved either. Not only has Kane failed to produce when he has played, he has looked uninterested at times which has brought criticism from neutral pundits including Gary Neville and Roy Keane.
Following Tottenham’s disastrous 3-1 defeat at home by Chelsea in September, Neville claimed the striker’s demeanour was far from that of a striker ready to lead an attacking line.
‘It’s never easy when a player wants to leave your club, and everybody in the dressing room in the ground knows that he wants to leave,’ Neville said on his Sky Sports podcast.
Supporters look as Kane trudges off down the tunnel following a defeat by Chelsea last month
‘I think that there will be some questions coming out of that game because he looked despondent towards the end.
‘He was playing against a very, very good team. He will have been part of a Tottenham team over the years where Chelsea have a good record and he will be thinking, “I’m here again, playing at Tottenham. We’re not going to challenge for titles or get into the top four”. He wanted more, he wanted to go and challenge for titles.’
Keane was scathing at his lacklustre display in the London derby insisted he should have been substituted.
‘Kane’s body language today, his performance today Kane – oh my goodness,’ he said on Sky Sports after the match. ‘The manager should’ve dragged him off. He should’ve dragged him off.’
One of Kane’s three England goals came in an game away to Poland in a World Cup qualifier
But Kane’s displays for England do not differ too sharply from his Spurs performances
Unsurprisingly, Kane’s lack of final product is doing little to win back estranged supporters – especially as team-mate Son Heung-min has been a more active part of the Spurs attack already this term. In addition the incredibly popular 29-year-old Korean has committed his best years to the club until 2025 after penning a new deal. He has become the new King of the Lane.
But just how bad are Kane’s stats – and just how much of his ‘no-shows’ at Spurs this season are his fault?
While the key stats of goals are the barometer of performance, a glance at other areas give an idea of if he is just going through the motions for Spurs or whether he is still the same professional that has helped him become a recognised world class striker.
Looking at his attacking stats from his six Premier League matches and on average comparing them to his three England appearances, there is very little difference in the numbers he is producing for club and country – goals aside of course.
His shots per game is only very slightly down, while he tends to lose more duels on the ball. But there is otherwise little in the stats to suggest he isn’t trying to do the same things for Spurs as he is for England.
Average stats in the league and for England are about equal for Kane – more from SofaScore
Touches per game is about the same at around 35, while he tends to play a better support role for Spurs judging by his key passes per game – a big fat zero for Gareth Southgate’s side compared to his near average of one for Tottenham.
His heat map for Spurs shows him having covered all the attacking areas of the pitch and more curiously hugging the left side, so he doesn’t appear to be just going through the motions either.
A key factor behind his dramatic drop in goals and assists may be linked to Tottenham’s woeful overall attacking statistics since Nuno Espirito Santo took charge this summer.
They are not exactly things you would include in your club brochure if you were trying to attract a goal scorer to the club – or convince one to stay.
So far in the Premier League, Spurs have had the fourth fewest shots on goal and rank 15th with just their six goals scored – only Norwich City have more than one fewer.
Tottenham have had trouble creating chances this season under new boss Nuno Espirito Santo
Only the rock bottom Canaries and Watford have a worse xG stat (goals expected) of 7.25, while Kane shouldn’t hold his breath waiting for a cross anytime soon – only Brentford have made fewer than Tottenham’s 94.
Kane himself admittedly has missed three big chances in the Premier League this term – only three players have been as profligate.
But when one of them is Mohamed Salah (Paul Pogba and Wolves’ Trincao are the other two), it suggests that Kane is still getting into the right areas to try and end his goalless run.
He has form for starting the season slowly, once having a curious record of not being able to score in August.
While this goal drought seems to be going on a while longer, there is at least hope for Spurs fans, and even for Kane, that the Premier League goals and form could be closer to returning than many supporters might have thought.
If his similar output is working for England, a player of his quality cannot be kept quiet for much longer in a Spurs jersey.