Tottenham were obviously favourites to come away with three points when they faced the champions of Cyprus APOEL in Nicosia on Tuesday night, but Harry Kane’s ‘perfect hat-trick’ could signify something far more important for Spurs.
Potentially the emergence of Harry Kane as a legitimate world class striker.
It’s not always about the level of opposition, sometimes it’s about the stage, and dispatching lesser teams comfortably is part and parcel of the game, especially during the group stages.
The Champions League is the platform used by the worlds best, in the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez to elevate themselves above the rest, consistently raising the bar every season with outstanding performances and more importantly goals.
Can Harry Kane now push on and become part of the discussion? Here’s three reasons why he can…
That old chestnut.
As long as you’re converting chances as a striker in the Champions League you’re in the discussion, and so far Harry Kane is leading current Ballon d’Or holder in Cristiano Ronaldo. Not a bad start!
Kane also boasts a higher club-scoring record in 2017; managing a staggering 34 goals in 30 games to Ronaldo’s 31 in 33.
The Englishman’s hat-trick on Tuesday was also his sixth of the calendar year – not hard to see how he won the Golden Boot last season then.
He seems to be elevating his game each year at a young age (24) and that is always a good sign.
After the 3-0 victory against APOEL, during the post match interview Harry Kane had praise heaped on him, hearing Glenn Hoddle’s bold statement that: “Kane could become the greatest striker ever to play for Tottenham.”
Holding the match ball, his response was measured and full of intent: “Thank you, and hopefully.”
Seemingly unfazed Kane clearly believes he’s capable of more, and is taking on serious responsibility. A mindset essential to becoming a top player.
Variety is the spice of life.
It can obviously be argued that goals are goals regardless of how they come, but the top strikers find a way to cause defences nightmares in numerous areas.
Kane certainly comes into this bracket; headers, placement (both feet), driven-shots, set plays, poacher’s goals, penalties… he has the lot.
It all came together on Tuesday night as he showcased a variety of ruthless finishing with his ‘perfect hat-trick’ against APOEL.
It certainly seems as though Kane has all the attributes to become a world class player and it’s simply down to him to continue proving it both domestically and on the biggest stage in Europe.
According to Jamie Carragher and Thierry Henry on Monday Night Football, the lack of consistency in the Champions League is the only thing preventing Harry Kane from being recognised as one of the worlds best.
There’s no sign of that inconsistency so far this season though, sitting pretty atop the list of European goalscorers.
Kane now has the chance to make a serious statement and cement himself as one of the worlds best in Spurs next outing away at the Santiago Bernabéu, against last years holders Real Madrid.