‘Harry, 22, from North London, seeks supportive striking partner to help carry a heavy burden.’
As the new season begins, we find ourselves in an all too familiar situation – we’re not ready.
Mauricio Pochettino has taken note from last season and is starting to put his own stamp on this Spurs team by shoring up a leaky defence and looking to buy young – not paying over-the-odds (like previous gaffers have).
But there’s one area in which we are still light. Our strikers.
We have, in Harry Kane, one the best strikers in England. With strength, skill and enough pace, he has terrorised Premier League defences and plans to do it all over again this year.
But these are top defences, with top managers – they’re no mugs.
As we’ve already seen towards the end of last season and Saturday against United, they don’t now plan for Tottenham Hotspur, they plan for Harry Kane. When we face these teams, he faces being double marked, being pushed wide and being pressurised to ensure he can’t spin, shoot and come deep to collect the ball.
As we know, and I think Poch knows, he can’t do it on his own.
So let’s have a look at some of the potential strike partners we’ve been linked with recently and how they’d fit with our Harry.
Saido Berahino, West Brom
‘Young pacey striker looking for a club above mid-table and London wages.’
Saido Berahino has been a Spurs target ever since he burst onto the Premier League scene in similar fashion to Harry Kane a year previous. His pace, shooting power and clinical finishing is reminiscent of Spurs legend Jermain Defoe – who was no stranger to a big-man little-man partnership throughout his career.
Berahino’s pace and movement will allow Kane to drop deep, collect the ball and bring others into play. Not to mention freeing him of the attention of both center halves and defensive midfielders. Plus, the pair know each other from their days in the England youth setup and would have been able to showcase their combined talents at the U21 Euros last Summer if it hadn’t been for an unfortunate injury to Berahino just before the tournament started.
Javier Hernandez, Man Utd
‘Adorable little Mexican seeks more game time, enjoys short run-outs on a Saturday afternoon.’
Chicharito surprises me. I can’t get my head round why he’s never been given a real run in any team. Everything about him screams goal scorer – especially his stats. With a goal/game ratio of just over 1 in 3 at Man Utd, interestingly all from inside the box too, Hernandez seems to fit the bill as an out-andout goal scorer.
Many have come late on in games, which have earned him the title of ‘Super Sub’ – something that may have prevented him being the first name on the team sheet or even the first XI. His attributes are still attractive to a team like Spurs, and he could easily spark with Kane. But at 27, is he too old for Pochettino’s young spurs?
He’s quick, agile, clinical. I like him.
Emmanuel Adebayor, Spurs
‘Lanky striker seeking supportive gilet-clad mentor. Enjoys long, slow walks on a Saturday afternoon and doesn’t take work too seriously.’
I thought I’d include Ade in this, just to show why it doesn’t work and why I fully expect (hope) we offload our Togolese striker as soon as possible. Adebayor was given his chance at the beginning of last season after his impressive form under Sherwood – but Kane’s Europa League and League Cup heroics were too good to ignore and he quickly took over.
The two players are very similar. Both like to drop deep to get the ball, bring others into play and rejoin the attack. It’s just Kane’s better. Because he has the attributes it’s tough for Ade to match. He works harder. He cares more. He’s not here for the money. And he loves Spurs.
Clinton N’Jie, Lyon
‘Ambitious striker new to the area seeks new mates, can speak many languages.’
N’Jie is an unknown quantity. Well, to us maybe, but not the Spurs scouts and Pochettino.
Versatile and quick, N’jie offers the outlet we currently lack, when Kane likes to drop into the no. 10 role and collect the ball, N’jie is 10 yards past him on the shoulder of the last defender looking to be fed the ball. Similarly to Hernandez and Berahino, he could forge a partnership with Kane that will see the two work together in tandem – and at 21, youth’s on his side and he could cement a place in an ambitious Tottenham team for years to come.
Regardless who comes in to lighten the load on Kane, it’s clear that Poch is looking past the next year or two and trying to build a squad for the future at Spurs.
If, like we have been, we do our business early, we’ll avoid our usual deadline day rush where by 17:59 on 1st September we’re still stumbling around like a horny 18 year old in a nightclub desperately looking for someone to take home – and we all know where that leaves us – with Ryan Nelson and Louis bleedin’ Saha.