Tottenham fans will be all too aware of their worrying failure to properly develop many of the young prospects that have risen through their Academy. The likes of Bostock, Barnard and Parrett are all sad reminders of the club’s inability to cultivate talent.
In recent times the man to be perpetually on the cusp of the Premier League first team, only to be continually sent out on loan is Jon Obika. At 23 surely his hopes of ever really making it at Spurs are beginning to wane.
So what of last-night’s hat trick hero Harry Kane, the next in the long line of Spurs rejects or potentially a star of the future?
Kane at 20 is at an age where he will either make it or end up in the depths of lower league football. The coming couple of seasons could well define the footballing career of the forward whose future still appears very much in the balance.
A cause for optimism is the fact AVB and indeed those in charge of the national side appear to see a lot in the youngster. Hardly a first team regular but consistently in match day squads and often enjoying brief cameo appearances from time to time. Given Spurs’ ambition to compete on all fronts this season one could expect Kane to feature more heavily than ever in the coming months.
Capped heavily at all of the national youth levels, it isn’t just AVB that sees promise in Kane. Most prolific during his spell in the U-19’s where he netted 6 times in 14 appearances, he has continued to develop into a regular feature for Gareth Southgate’s new look U-21s. Loan spells have also already bred relative success including an impressive 8-goal haul during his time at Millwall.
Kane continues to do well at every level that he is tested at; surely the next step is a shot at the big time with Spurs?
The jury is still out for Kane at Spurs, a series of cameo appearances aren’t really enough to determine whether he has got what is required at this level. Sitting well down the pecking order behind the likes of Soldado, Defoe and Adebayor, it is incredibly difficult to see when his break is ever likely to come.
It isn’t a huge issue at the moment, at the age of 20 being restricted to a bit part role is hardly the end of the world but going forward it is likely to become increasingly frustrating for the young Englishmen. This really is my fear and it is something we have seen all too often with Spurs, a promising youngster always on the verge of making it only to be turfed out in their early 20’s.
From what I have seen of Kane in brief stints he looks a useful footballer. Far more than a target man, he has real ability when drifting in off either wing much like Jermain Defoe does so successfully. In fact many of his appearances have actually necessitated a complete change in tempo for the team as a whole and his influence in the game at Cardiff particularly shouldn’t be understated.
The problem though is that will his role ever really increase? Yes Andros Townsend has seemingly broken through, but the striking situation is much more competitive and regardless of his promise he appears no more than 4th choice.
If a second rate Premier League or Championship side came in with a bid of a couple of million I would imagine Spurs would bite their hands off for it. As optimistic as many are over Kane I just cannot see him ever making it at a top Premier League side, and for that reason his future may well lie further down the divisions.
A move that may well suit both parties, with Spurs receiving a fee for a player they developed and the player finally getting the game time that he both wants and merits.
I really hope that I am wrong on this one, as Kane is undoubtedly one of the best talents to emerge from the Academy at Spurs in recent times, However, all the signs point towards Kane just being destined to a future in common with many of his Spurs predecessors.