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Kane vs. Lineker: Can the Spurs Hitman Emulate a National Legend?

May 24, 2016

- Grant Whittington

Since making his full debut for Spurs in the Europa league in 2011, Harry Kane has plundered 64 goals in 125 appearances for the North Londoners. This includes 59 in 99 games over the course of the last two seasons, as Kane has established himself as one of the nation’s leading strikers. Last year saw him overhaul Jurgen Klinsmann’s best-ever EPL season tally for Tottenham with 31 goals in 51 appearances, falling just short of Gary Lineker’s 35-goal bounty in 1991-92.

Comparing Kane and Lineker

Given their Spurs connections, it is only natural to make a comparison between Kane and Lineker. After all, Kane aspires to become a Spurs and England legend in the future, and in this respect he will follow a trail that Lineker has already blazed in his own career.

Surprisingly, the initial comparisons are favourable to Kane. We have already stated that Kane has plundered 64 goals in his first 125 appearances for Spurs, for example, while Lineker managed just 52 in 127 games at the beginning of his professional career with Leicester City. Lineker also played some of his games outside of the top division, while both players established themselves at the tender age of 21.

The two also enjoyed similar starts to their international careers, although Lineker made his debut at the end of 25 (as opposed to 21). Kane currently has an impressive four goals in just 10 appearances, with Lineker having registered six strikes in his first 10 international games. If Kane can continue his currently scoring rate, he would need to earn more than 121 caps to supersede Lineker’s goal-record of 49 international strikes (achieved in 0 appearances).

The Bottom Line: Will Kane emulate or supersede Lineker?

These statistics underline several similarities between Kane and Lineker, and their club connections make these even more apparent. These disguise the differences that exist between the two players, however, with Kane a more rounded and skilful players who has the ability to operate anywhere along the front line. Blessed with quick feet, strength and pace, Kane can lay claim to being a creator as well as a scorer of goals.

In contrast, Lineker was a predatory striker with sharp movement in the box and an unparalleled eye for goal. Kane’s main challenge will therefore be to maintain his incredible scoring rate as his game evolves, as he most likely spend a greater period of time outside of the box. It is also worth mentioning that Lineker represented top clubs in England and Spain, so some will feel that Kane will have to test his skills abroad if he is to truly emulate or ultimately supersede his predecessor.

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