Harry Kane has been at the forefront of Tottenham’s attack for much of the past 12 months, and given his impressive showings I wouldn’t be surprised if the club crest of a cockerel standing on a ball was replaced with the 21-year-old’s face.
Kane is undoubtedly one of Mauricio Pochettino’s most prized players. Usually playing as the lone striker in a 4-2-3-1 system, he’s been extremely reliable for Spurs, averaging 134 minutes per goal since his first-team debut at the end of the 2013/14 campaign. But it seems that Pochettino is now considering converting the solo star into one half of a dynamic duo.
West Bromwich Albion’s Saido Berahino may be lining up alongside his England U-21 teammate Kane at White Hart Lane next season, according to reports. Berahino had a breakout season in 2014/15, netting a career-best 20 goals while notching six assists in 45 appearances for the Baggies. His 14 Premier League efforts were the sixth best tally in the division and helped earn him the club’s Players’ Player of the Year award.
The youngster has also impressed internationally, scoring 11 goals in his 12 caps for the U-21s. In that squad, where coach Gareth Southgate also uses a 4-2-3-1, Berahino and Kane were used interchangeably, not simultaneously. When they were on the pitch at the same time (eight out of Berahino’s 12 games), Kane played striker and Berahino was shifted back to the left wing.
The playing styles of Berahino and Kane are remarkably similar. Both are incredibly fast and adept finishers, and are willing to take risks as well. Strikes from outside the box account for roughly 40 percent of both of their shot records, and headed attempts are plentiful.
In Premier League play, however, Berahino has a slight edge in shot accuracy, 43 percent to Kane’s 41.9 percent. The West Brom player also has a pass success rate of 83.2 percent, remarkably high for a striker and significantly more than Kane’s 75.2 percent. The stat becomes even more impressive when you take into account that Tony Pulis’ men are notoriously weak at holding onto the ball, falling into the bottom four in the league for keeping possession. Imagine if Berahino could play for a side that was in the top three for possession, like the Lilywhites?
Berahino has managed to prove himself a top striker despite playing for a team that failed to even crack 40 goals last season. He would surely provide the Spurs with another centre forward should Kane get injured, but shouldn’t be discounted as just a back-up. He is a perfectly respectable equal to Kane, and could see Spurs struggle to designate a regular starter in what would most surely be a win-win situation.
Perhaps ‘HurriKane’ will be joined by Saido ‘BeraHero.’ Eh, we’ll work on that.