When Harry Kane overtook me in the all time Premier League scoring charts on Friday night, he also took away one of my records… and he’s welcome to it!
A big deal was made of the fact that he is now the player who has scored most goals in the Premier League without winning it. I’ll be honest, I didn’t even know that previously, I held that dubious honour.
I do know it always hurt that I never won the title. I was in a good team that got really close a couple of times, but we were never quite good enough, and that is painful.
You don’t think about it at the time of course. You always think this will be the year, or a couple of good signings and we’ll be there. Yet when I’m asked how it feels not to have won that trophy, what can I say?
It doesn’t eat away at me, but I do think about it all the time…even now! I never thought we had a divine right to win it, always knew you had to earn it. Yet even if it sounds stupid because I’ve not played for years, I do still wonder what might have been.
I know I was a good enough player to be part of a team that were Champions. You score 30-plus goals in your first three seasons as a first team player, then you’re entitled to believe it would win you something.
You know you always hear people saying ‘I’ll think about what it means winning trophies when I’m retired’, well, if you don’t win them, well yes, you think about that too.
Kane must believe that. He’s now scored 20-plus league goals in five different seasons, and only Alan Shearer, Sergio Aguero and Thierry Henry have done that. They’re legends…and Champions.
He knows he probably has one big move left in him, and if he’s to ensure he has no regrets, no ‘what might have been’ moments like me, then he has to think about his future.
Will he win a title at Spurs? Unlikely. They’re not going to even make the Champions League next season, so they’re a long way short. And they may even be looking at a new manager again in the summer. Which could mean more years of rebuilding…and waiting.
There will be clubs interested too. Manchester United have been mentioned, strongly. And City too. Both would be strong options for him, no doubt.
Who knows, he could be the missing ingredient United need to take that final step, and if City were to sign him, then…well, it doesn’t bear thinking about if you’re a fan of any other Premier League club.
But here’s a shout. Kane is now doing the job at Spurs that Roberto Firmino has done for Liverpool so well over the past years. And you could argue that, with his goals, Harry does that job even better.
I believe that any club who has real ambitions of winning the Premier League, would have to look at Kane if he comes onto the market…because to win it, you have to get past City.
Imagine Liverpool with a Firmino type player, but one who adds goals. They’ve struggled a bit up front at times this season, and maybe they do need to add an out and out centre forward who scores goals.
No doubt, it would close the gap to City which has opened up this season. I’m not one of these who believe Liverpool need major surgery. As Klopp said, they probably require only minor adjustments. That would be a positive adjustment.
I’d accept though, that they may want to go down a different road. Kane is 28 this summer. The perfect age to win trophies with the experience he has, but he’s not going to lower the age profile of a squad.
You look at Liverpool and time has sneaked up on them a bit. They now have a lot of experienced players in their late 20s or in their 30s, which is great for experience, but needs addressing in the next couple of years.
You look at the Wijnaldum situation, and there’s no doubt they are concerned about his age in contract negotiations. They already have Milner, Henderson, and Thiago in their 30s.
And throughout the squad, there are players now in their late 20s. Mane, Firmino himself, Salah, van Dijk, Matip, Shaqiri, all about to hit 30 in the next year or so.
So in truth, the money they would need to spend to buy Kane and pay his wages, perhaps they’d be thinking it would be better spent on younger players, to reduce the age profile, and plan further forward.
No doubt though, Kane would give them a dimension they have lacked…he’d do that to any club. And I think that I, perhaps more than any player, have the right to tell him now is the time to consider that move….before it’s too late.