Inside Lane: If Harry Kane is the future then Spurs must protect him and sign another striker
07:30 28 January 2016
PA Wire/Press Association Images
Tottenham blogger Tom Hayward feels Spurs should consider Harry Kane’s long-term well-being and the danger of burn-out as they approach the final days of the January transfer window.
On Saturday, Harry Kane scored his 16th goal of the season for Spurs. I have just come to expect it now – this is no ‘one season wonder’. But, with every goal Kane scores, the need to protect him for these next five months grows, and I feel nothing but dread when I think of the transfer window slamming shut on Monday night.
It looks increasingly likely Spurs won’t sign anyne. It’s an all too familiar feeling, only this time we are not ‘making do’; this seems to be part of the plan.
I cannot criticise Pochettino for anything he has done since he arrived. Every time I do, he proves me wrong. But the steadfast refusal to acknowledge our desperate need for a striker to help Kane is a concern.
The club’s transfer strategy is now fuelled by Paul Mitchell and his ‘black box’, a mysterious piece of kit that identifies stars amongst the rabble that can be picked up for peanuts. It has presumably been responsible for us picking up players like Dele Alli, and for that alone it deserves my eternal respect.
But I wonder if this has made things far too black and white for Pochettino, particularly with regards to our striking options. We are unlikely to pick up anyone anywhere near Kane’s level, but that is not to say there aren’t suitable strikers around, particularly when we see Charlie Austin heading to Southampton for a meagre £4million.
Finding a striker who would be happy to sit on the bench behind an emerging star and crowd favourite is not an easy task, but failing to bring in anyone to help ease the burden on Kane feels like negligence to me. Since he burst onto the scene at the beginning of last season, Kane has not stopped playing, whether on our post-season tour of Malaysia and Australia or at the European Under-21 Championship with England.
I bow to Pochettino’s judgement – he and his team know Kane inside out – but it feels like we have a duty of care that we are not currently adhering to. This isn’t about the possible development of someone new, it’s about protecting arguably our most valuable asset. I look at the likes of Wayne Rooney and previously Michael Owen and see their best seasons consigned to history before they even hit 30.
If we really are putting down foundations for a long and successful future, ensuring Kane has the best chance of playing a major part in that must surely be highest on our agenda. Anything less is simply playing with fire.
Tom (@TomFoins87) is host of The Tottenham Way Podcast, available on iTunes and Acast now.