It has been a week of wonder about Harry Kane’s future following reports of Manchester United’s interest in a summer deal for the striker, followed by news that the England captain is open to signing a new Tottenham contract – provided Certain conditions must be met.
The Spurs are still hoping they’ll never have to face life without Kane until he eventually hangs up his boots, perhaps pursuing a career in the NFL or retirement on the golf course, and they did in Monday’s 1. provided a rarely-needed reminder of its own importance. -0 win over Fulham.
Kane’s stunning goal in first-half stoppage-time – a trademark low finish from the edge of the box – saw him move past Spurs’ all-time leading scorer on 266 alongside Jimmy Greaves and further disappointment around the club after a dreadful week swept aside. on and off the pitch.
Kane came close to the outright record in the second half when Bernd Leno saved his point-blank header but, apparently, it is only a matter of time before the record is broken. Whatever decision he makes at the end of this season or next, Kane’s status as one of Spurs’ greatest players is already secure.
The record-equalling goal, which was duly assisted by his record-breaking partner Hyung-min Son, ensured Spurs went into the interval with a lead they barely deserved after a first half in which Marco Silva’s enterprising Fulham were the comfortably better side.
As is now customary – with the exception of Thursday’s 4-2 reverse defeat at Manchester City – Antonio Conte’s side improved after the break but they conceded another victory thanks to Kane’s quality.
Rarely has the gap between Kane and his teammates been so wide, and Spurs’ difficult season under Conte would be worse if the Italian was not blessed with one of the world’s best centre-forwards.
His winner provided the club with some respite after defeats to Arsenal and City, and growing uncertainty over Conte’s future off the pitch and the position of managing director Fabio Paratici, who has been hit with a 30-month ban from working in Italy. Which maybe should be expanded to the whole of Europe.
The fans’ anger at chairman Daniel Levy at Craven Cottage did not subside, however, with intermittent calls for the chairman to “get out of our club” from away from the third minute onwards.
Kane’s importance to Spurs is one of the few things that everyone connected with the club can agree on at the moment, and it was his 16th league goal of the season, halfway through – a number that has generated far more laudatory noise. would be doing if Erling Haaland wasn’t threatening to break every existing record for a campaign.
In signing a new deal, Kane would likely want to play in the Champions League next season and be confident that Spurs are upwardly mobile, and in a position to compete for trophies.
They moved to within five points of fourth place, even though they had played more games than Newcastle and Manchester United, and after another game against City on 5 February, their run of fixtures looked promising, leading to another barnstorming. The charge expectation should increase. Champions League places.
However, Kane couldn’t do it alone, and the night was another proof of Son’s sharp decline this season. The South Korean set up Kane’s goal with a short pass to Feit, but was otherwise a journeyman, heavy on the ball and lost without it.
Son was lucky to be still on the pitch to set up Kane after overrunning the ball and catching Kenny Tate with a late, stud-up challenge, which referee Paul Tierney deemed worthy of only a yellow card. .
On a more positive note, Spurs’ much-maligned defense did manage to stand up to a Fulham barrage in the opening half-hour and final 15 minutes, which will surely please Conte and suggest there is still life in this team.
Kane, however, is both the brain and heartbeat of Spurs, and as the club prepare to open contract talks with their talisman next month, he has never felt more important.
(tag to translate) Harry Kane