Saturday, May 25, 2019

How Should Tottenham React to Harry Kane Injury?

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Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane picked up an injury in his team’s defeat to Manchester United at Wembley last week and is now facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

The England captain will be out until March after injuring ankle ligaments which leaves Tottenham in dire straits knowing they will be without their best player in a crucial stage of the season.

The 25-year-old forward is almost certain to miss both legs of the Champions League last-16 tie with Borussia Dortmund, while he will also be out of action for the second leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final against Chelsea later in January.

More importantly, Kane is set to miss a series of Premier League matches – starting with Fulham this weekend with Spurs given 7/10 to win – which could put an additional dent into Spurs’ Premier League title challenge. With Kane ruled out for at least a month and Son Heung-Min unavailable due to his responsibilities at the Asian Cup with South Korea.

How Do you Replace a Player Like Kane?

Kane and Son have left Spurs desperately in need of attacking reinforcements.  

In order to ensure the goals keep flowing – Kane and Son combined for the total of 22 goals in the Premier League – Tottenham could look within their own squad but are more likely to react during the transfer window and sign the replacement.

With Kane and Son contributing 47% to all goals scored by Spurs this season in the league, their influence is clearly evident. Mauricio Pochettino is boasting a talented squad but it’s fair to say Dele Alli, Erik Lamela, and the experienced Fernando Llorente would not be enough to replace the Tottenham star duo.

Harry Kane worked hard over the past few seasons to prove he was more than just a one-season wonders and numbers alone are here to support his arguments. Over the last four seasons with Spurs, Harry Kane would not go below the 20-goal mark. With 21, 25, 29 and 30 goals in four seasons since 2014/15, respectively, he’s been topping the charts and keeping Tottenham alive.

The England captain is more than a goalscorer, however. Apart from being a huge threat in front the goal, Kane contributes in so many other ways. When he is not holding the ball upfront and bringing teammates into play, his robust physique allows him to create chances for himself and do more than what’s expected of a classic No.9.

During 1,882 minutes of Premier League action thus far, Harry Kane averaged 0.67 goals per 90 minutes, according to Understat.

His expected goals ratio per 90 minutes stands at 0.60, while the sum of expected goals off shots from his key passes per 90 minutes is 0.20 which is within range of Robert Lewandowski’s 0.32 for example.

Options

Polish international might be closest to the type of a player Kane is and their stats are there to confirm it. What Kane need to do is to find the player of the same caliber, a forward who’d produce Kane’s average 3.4 shots per game (Lewandowski’s average is 3.5) and a man whose consistency would help Spurs make a seamless transition.

Kane’s efforts without a ball make him an all-round player who’d be difficult to replace – within the ranks or from the outside. His aggressive pressing from the front and the overall world class forward’s mindset would be hard to replace.

The British media have already started debating on who should Tottenham bring to replace Kane and although Barcelona out-of-favour winger Malcom currently stands as one of the prime targets, it is suggested that Marko Arnautovic and Bundesliga hotshot Luka Jovic could also be considered.

As far as the in-house solutions are concerned, Fernando Llorente is the obvious choice, whereas the forgotten man Vincent Jansen – who made 2 Premier League appearances and scored a goal this season – will be relishing an opportunity to prove his worth.

So what should Spurs do?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Milos Markovic


Formerly a Chief Editor at the largest sports site in Serbia Sportske.net, Milos Markovic is an avid football writer who contributes to a variety of online football magazines - most prominently Soccernews.com and Futbolgrad.com. His feature articles, editorials, interviews and match analyses have provided informed opinion and views, helping the football aficionados keep up to date on relevant events in world football.

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Arnautovic would be great for a replacement, strike partner, and future games off. Will Arnautovic go for that though? Maybe too good to for any Spurs fans to hope for. That would do the job and/or using Son or even Ali who have played Striker for a spell to get by… depends on tactics and week-to-week opponents. They need some insurance and strengthening though if they want to be in more than one competition. Lastly, I know Kane is a tough lad who wants to be old school and play every minute of every game, but when they’re smashing some… Read more »

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