Speaking exclusively to Football FanCast, former Arsenal striker John Hartson has delivered his verdict on why Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane might not have been at his best at the beginning of the 2019/20 season.
While the England captain scored twice on the opening day against Aston Villa and once against the Gunners, he drew blanks in the home matches against Newcastle United and then Crystal Palace on Saturday, and also missed a penalty while playing for his country against Kosovo.
Sky Sports did a feature only last week saying Spurs were pressing less than any other Premier League team – unusual for a Mauricio Pochettino side – and that lack of intensity starts from the front.
When asked whether he thought Kane looks sluggish this term, Hartson exclusively told FFC:
“Let’s not forget his injury at the back end of last season. I’m not sure whether he’s fully, fully, fully confident in himself in terms of his ankle.
“That could be affecting him a little bit, but he’s still a world-class player. World-class players bounce back and they prove people like me and you wrong.”
The Welshman makes a good point.
Perhaps Kane has simply realised that because of the multiple ankle issues he has suffered in the past, which have seen him miss 33 matches in the last three years according to his injury history on Transfermarkt, his role in this Tottenham team now has changed.
Maybe he simply can’t afford to chase into the channels and harry defenders as he might have done in the past, so as not to risk a recurrence of that injury.
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In that respect the onus will be on the likes of Son Heung-min, Lucas Moura and Erik Lamela to step up instead, leaving the England skipper to do what he is world-class at – sticking the ball in the back of the net.