It’s only taken a few months for Tottenham talisman Harry Kane to make a complete mockery of Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson’s claims after a 1-1 draw against Manchester United last season.
“When Jose took the job I worried for Harry Kane. He played under Pochettino and Tottenham sort of had a go wherever they went. There were goals, there were crosses, there were shots. (But now) he’s going to be playing up front on his own and it is going to be hard work. In the end he’s trying to hit 60-yard passes just to be involved in the game. That’s not Harry Kane.
“I think he’ll have a serious think at the end of the season, I really do. I don’t see him getting 25-30 goals next season with the way Jose will want to play. And Jose won’t want to play like he did when he first got in there and it was 4-2 and 5-3, no way. He’ll like those games like Friday night, 1-1.”
Fast forward to the beginning of October, and the England international has been directly involved in 27 goals in just 26 games under Jose Mourinho, including a truly remarkable tally of seven goals and six assists in his seven matches this season.
But whilst Kane has been enjoying a truly astonishing run of form in front of goal, the most awe-inspiring thing has been the way he has created chances for others.
Heung-min Son enjoyed a field day against Southampton a few weeks ago thanks to Kane’s vision and timing of passes, and it was noticeable that he was dropping more and more deeper in that game to catch Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side off guard.
A look at his heatmaps last season and the 2017/2018 campaign saw a noticeable difference in where the 27-year-old was picking up the ball, with less emphasis on being inside the box and being a predatory striker.
With Gareth Bale working his way back from fitness, Mourinho should seriously consider starting the Welshman up top, and dropping Kane into a number ten role and leaning on him as more of a goal-scoring playmaker, than a play-making goal-scorer.
Described as someone with a bit of “magic” by teammate Ben Davies, this season could see Kane transform into one of the Premier League’s leading assist-producers, and really bring the best out of a returning Bale.