Following Harry Kane’s treble on boxing day in Tottenham’s 5-2 win against Southampton, his eighth hat-trick of the year for Spurs in all competitions, the centre-forward took his tally to 39 Premier League goals in 2017, simultaneously breaking Alan Shearer’s 22-year record for the number of Premier League goals scored in a calendar year.
The 24-year-old has also scored 56 goals in 52 games in 2017 for club and country, which is more than any player in Europe’s top five leagues, including Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
The England international is also set to become Spurs’ all-time record goalscorer, being 1 goal away from Teddy Sheringham’s record of 97 goals.
Following Kane’s goalscoring exploits after the Southampton game, Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino said: “We are all so, so, so, so happy because it’s an amazing thing to celebrate. For me, he’s world class. I think today, (number) one striker in the world, specific position, who’s better than him?”
Pochettino believes that he has the current best striker in the world at his disposal.
Is the gaffer getting ahead of himself or is this hype justified?
Luis Suarez has scored 10 goals for Barcelona this season, which is modest to say the least compared to his goalscoring record in the past, and the Uruguayan is 30.
Robert Lewandowski plays for Bayern Munich who are miles ahead of every other team in the Bundesliga and are always running away with the title, and so the Poland international plays for a team who are much stronger domestically than Spurs are in the Premier League, and this must be taken under consideration.
The same can be said of Edinson Cavani with Paris Saint-Germain in Ligue 1.
There is also Sergio Aguero, however the Manchester City forward does not score quite as many goals as Kane, albeit partly down to Pep Guardiola’s rotation policy between Aguero and Gabriel Jesus, and is prone to injuries.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is a goalscoring machine for Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga, however at 28, age is not on his side in comparison to Kane. Even Ronaldo has been struggling as a striker for Real Madrid this season.
Kane is undoubtedly the most in-form centre forward in the world right now. His consistency is frightening.
The sort of figures that Kane has been matching throughout the past year are the sort of statistics that barring Messi’s extraordinary 91 goals in 2012, which will take quite some time for Kane to be able to match such a feat, if even at all possible, the world has become accustomed to watching Messi and Ronaldo achieve.
These two players are the only guys who have made scoring so many goals the norm.
The thing that makes Kane’s achievement even more impressive is that whilst Messi has scored such an extraordinary amount of goals playing for one of the best ever teams in Barca, Kane has scored so many goals scoring for a Spurs side that with all due respect, although they are one of the Premier League’s elite, they are nowhere near Barca’s level.
Is Kane passing over from the mere mortals to the celestial levels displayed by Messi and Ronaldo over the past decade?
Of course, when measuring true class of a striker, it is not just necessarily quantity of goals that matters, but the manner in which the player impacts the game.
Former Everton winger Kevin Kilbane rightly pointed out on Match of the Day that Kane is more than just a goalscorer. His ability to also play as a number 10 and drop deeper away from defenders was pointed out.
His runs and his ability to always get himself into the right positions are attributes that are not noticed by every spectator, but are nevertheless fantastic characteristics for a great striker to possess.
The 24-year-old’s rise has been so unexpected that with each new goalscoring record that is broken, we all re-assess the expectations that we have of him, both for Spurs and England, with the World Cup just around the corner.
With great achievements come large expectations, and Kane must just carry on playing like he has been doing and if he can do that, at the tender age of 24, who knows what is to come in the future. One thing is for sure, Spurs and England have a special player at their disposal.
To say that he is the best striker in the world with so many world-class strikers around may still be a bit rash at the moment, but judging on form, you won’t be finding a better centre-forward anywhere in the world right now.
Written by Sina Latif
Follow Sina on Twitter @_sina93
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