The Chalkboard: Kane could thrive in more withdrawn Spurs role

Harry Kane has struggled since his comeback from injury but the Tottenham Hotspur striker may have confirmed that he could thrive in a more withdrawn role next season.

On the chalkboard

Following the Champions League final defeat to Liverpool, in which Kane appeared to be half-fit, the striker was called up to the Nations League finals by manager Gareth Southgate.

He started the semi-final defeat to the Netherlands but touched the ball just 33 times, per WhoScored, though he used his possession remarkably well.

Across the 90 minutes, he completed 12 of his attempted 15 passes, made two successful dribbles and had a total of three shots on goal.

He won one aerial duel, too, and was a general nuisance towards the Dutch defence, repeatedly dipping into pockets of space in order to make himself available for a pass.

In the third-place play-off against Switzerland, he had just 29 touches of the ball, fewer than any other England player who started the game.

Nevertheless, he used the ball remarkably well again, chalking up a pass accuracy of 89% from 18 passes, along with one key pass. He also completed one dribble.

Kane does this regularly for Spurs too. It seems almost sacrilege to claim that one of the best strikers in world football could thrive in a more withdrawn role but one has to wonder if he would benefit from a proper strike partner at Spurs.

Passing is underrated

Kane is excellent at everything and his passing is severely underrated. He averages one key pass per game and registered six assists in 2018/19.

Of course, the goalscoring burden at the club largely falls upon him; he netted 24 times before his injury woes.

But the acquisition of a proper partner to him – neither Fernando Llorente nor Vincent Janssen have been good enough – could see his contribution to the club skyrocket.

He wouldn’t only have to hit the back of the net, he could drop off repeatedly, collect the ball from midfield and look to spray it to his team-mate, creating chances at will.

Kane, then, wouldn’t have as much pressure on him to constantly be at his prolific best.

It can only be a win-win for Spurs and for Pochettino, who would be afforded the chance to occasionally rest his star man, instead of working him to the bone.

Article title: The Chalkboard: Kane could thrive in more withdrawn Spurs role

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