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Harry Kane v Gary Lineker

September 01, 2015

- Grant Whittington

Before England’s game with Lithuania last week, all of the talk and media speculation was focused on whether or not young Tottenham forward Harry Kane would make his eagerly anticipated debut.

Before England’s game with Lithuania last week, all of the talk and media speculation was focused on whether or not young Tottenham forward Harry Kane would make his eagerly anticipated debut. The level of hype surrounding this debate was incredible, and not since the emergence of Wayne Rooney have fans so vehemently demanded the debut of an up and coming star.

Despite being relegated to the substitutes’ bench (much to the disappointment of fans who strangely demanded the removal of top qualifying goal scorer Danny Welbeck from the starting line-up), Kane used his second-half cameo to devastating effect by scoring England’s fourth and final goal. Cue more fans jumping on the Harry Kane bandwagon, as the forward continues a rapid and incredible rise to prominence.

Harry Kane v Gary Lineker

Given his English nationality, Tottenham roots and prolific nature in front of goal, it is little wonder that Kane has drawn comparisons with former number ten Gary Lineker. The Match of the Day Presenter had a distinguished club and international career, representing clubs such as Tottenham and Barcelona while also scoring a phenomenal 48 goals in 80 England starts. So although Kane has a long way to progress before he achieves such impressive numbers, his mere promise is enough to remind nostalgic fans of the archetypal penalty box predator.

How similar are these two players, however? To begin with, it is worth stating that there may never be another forward with the goal instincts of Lineker, partially due to the depth of his unique talent and also because of the fact that the game has changed considerably in the last 20 years. Quite simply, even if a modern-day team were to uncover a predatory talent such as Linekar, they would most probably make attempts to develop his all round game and created a more complete footballer (while the former England forward was an incredibly talented goal poacher, he lacked a strong presence or work-rate outside of the box).

The Last Word

This is where Kane has a comparative advantage over Lineker, as he is a more rounded player with greater energy, more pace and the ability to run powerfully at defenders and commit them. This enables him to score a greater diversity of goals, from long-range strikes to powerful headers and close range finishes. He also has time on his side, and the opportunity to develop further while also honing his finishing skills.

Given that you can already wager on Harry Kane becoming England’s top goal scorer, there is every chance that the nations’ brightest star will supersede Lineker’s achievements by the end of his career.

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