Romelu Lukaku, Folarin Balogun and 11 strikers Tottenham should target to replace Harry Kane

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Spurs are facing a race against time to replace their offensive talisman before the transfer window closes...

It's been touted to be happening for years, but there was still an element of disbelief when Harry Kane pulled on a Bayern Munich shirt for the first time on Saturday. The man who had dragged Tottenham to the dizziest heights of their modern era - almost single-handedly at times - has left the building. Now, Spurs need to find a new hero - and fast.

With less than three weeks left until the summer transfer window closes, Spurs are facing the daunting prospect of Richarlison leading the line single-handedly for the entire season, unless they can recruit a new No.9.

At least Daniel Levy has a sizeable chunk of change to play with, with Bayern paying an initial €100m (£86.1m/$108.8m) plus add-ons for Kane. Then again, in the current market, even a war chest that size does not give you complete freedom, meaning Ange Postecoglou may need to settle for one of the names lower down on his shortlist.

Ahead of what is set to be a hectic few weeks, GOAL has taken a look at how Tottenham could go about completing the impossible job of replacing Kane:

  1. Richarlison (Tottenham)
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    Richarlison (Tottenham)

    Tottenham have already spent £50m+ ($63.5m) on a potential Kane replacement in the relatively recent past. Richarlison's maiden season in north London following his arrival from Everton was pretty shambolic, however, with the Brazilian scoring just once in the Premier League.

    Prior to this sharp drop off in form, he boasted a fairly reliable record in front of goal and was trusted with filling Kane's boots against Brentford on the opening weekend. The reviews were mixed at best. He had a handful of chances but again drew a blank, with Postecoglou calling for better service from those behind him moving forward.

    “I thought we could have been a little bit more direct to him and look for him a little bit more,” the Spurs boss said. “He was making some good runs and he was working hard. He had a couple of half-opportunities, but I thought we could have created more for him. The key for us with Richy is to keep supporting him because he’s working awfully hard for the team in a defensive sense and when we get in that front third I thought we didn’t look enough for him today. I have got a lot of time for him. He’s a striker and he’s got a lot of great attributes and he will always work hard for the team, and that’s a good starting point for me.”

    While his manager is convinced he will come good, Spurs could clearly use another centre-forward. Should Richarlison go down with an injury, Postecoglou would be left scratching around for a No.9, with Son Heung-min or Manor Solomon likely to be asked to play out of position.

  2. Romelu Lukaku (Chelsea)
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    Romelu Lukaku (Chelsea)

    Romelu Lukaku has endured a miserable few months. Since missing that golden chance in the Champions League final for Inter, the Belgian has managed to alienate the only fanbase that has ever loved him unconditionally, and there is now next to no chance of him securing a permanent return to San Siro.

    Following significant supporter backlash, Juventus no longer seem interested either, while links with Saudi Arabia have cooled significantly too. As a result, Lukaku is in limbo at Chelsea, with new manager Mauricio Pochettino showing no indication that he is part of his plans. Could Tottenham offer Lukaku salvation? Quite possibly.

    Things haven't gone tremendously well since Lukaku left Inter the first time, but it's worth remembering what earned him his big-money move to Stamford Bridge in the first place. Between 2019 and 2021, the 30-year-old could not stop scoring, with his goals propelling the Nerazzurri to the Serie A title in 2021.

    It's clear Lukaku needs a bit of love to thrive and he would get that in abundance under Postecoglou's care. As long as Spurs' other forwards can get close to him when they're attacking, he should be a snug fit stylistically too.

    Wages could be an issue, but then again Chelsea are desperate to sell, which puts Daniel Levy in a strong negotiating position. This is one to watch very closely over the next few weeks.

  3. Dusan Vlahovic (Juventus)
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    Dusan Vlahovic (Juventus)

    Like Lukaku, Dusan Vlahovic might be regretting his most recent transfer. The Serbian had his pick of Europe's top clubs when he opted to leave Fiorentina partway through the 2021-22 season, eventually opting to remain in Italy by joining Juventus. Vlahovic's time in Turin, however, has been punctuated by off-field turmoil and on-field dysfunction under Max Allegri - with the frontman managing just 23 goals in 63 appearances.

    There are several reasons for his underwhelming form. A troublesome groin injury has limited his influence, while the highly-pragmatic Allegri has been accused of shackling the Serbian's potential by asking him to play too deep. The manager does not appear to be leaving Turin any time soon, so Vlahovic might have to be the one to move on.

    While he would likely prefer to join a Champions League club, no one who fits this description appears to be searching for a striker. Tottenham would represent a welcome change of scenery, and Postecoglou would no doubt facilitate his return to the penalty-box predator that took Europe by storm a few years back.

    The chance to be Spurs' undisputed star man is also likely to appeal. Vlahovic is certainly no shrinking violet, taking Cristiano Ronaldo's No.7 shirt after arriving at Juventus.

  4. Folarin Balogun (Arsenal)

    Folarin Balogun (Arsenal)

    Folarin Balogun had been expected to join Inter this summer, with the United States men's national team star dropping a huge hint that the Serie A side was his preferred destination by posting a clip of himself watching prime Ronaldo Nazario highlights from his time at San Siro.

    However, despite the striker's clear preference to join the Nerazzurri, a concrete offer has not emerged, opening the door for other clubs to sign him. West Ham and Monaco have both been linked, but it wouldn't be a surprise to see Tottenham enter the fray too.

    Balogun enjoyed a breakout 2022-23, netting a stunning 21 goals for mid-table Reims in Ligue 1. That's more league goals than Marcus Rashford, Karim Benzema and Lionel Messi managed last season.

    Balogun is a lethal finisher, but is also able to fashion chances for himself thanks to his excellent dribbling ability. Naysayers may point to his lack of assists, but with James Maddison arriving at Spurs this summer, whoever replaces Kane will not have to be anywhere near as creative as he was in his prime.

    Obviously, crossing the north London divide would not make him a popular man with Arsenal supporters, but with some Gunners fans already beginning to sour on the U.S. international, he may not mind ruffling a few feathers.

  5. Elye Wahi (Montpellier)
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    Elye Wahi (Montpellier)

    Balogun is not the only young forward who turned heads in Ligue 1 last season. Elye Wahi was similarly impressive for Montpellier, backing up his 10-goal campaign in 2021-22 with a further 19 league strikes, as well as six assists.

    Only one of those goals came from the penalty spot too, while four of them came in a quite wondrous display against Lyon in May - even if his side did still somehow manage to lose the game.

    That display offered a pretty conclusive insight into Wahi's game, with the majority of his goals coming as a result of lethal transitions. He loves to sit on the shoulder of the last defender and latch onto through balls, something that the likes of Dejan Kulusevki and Maddison should be able to offer in abundance.

    Montpellier have already rejected a bid worth around £28m (£35.4m) plus add-ons for Wahi this summer, but as he has just two years left on his contract, they could be tempted to part ways with their prized asset if a slightly larger offer comes in.

  6. Aleksandar Mitrovic (Fulham)
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    Aleksandar Mitrovic (Fulham)

    He may have featured in Fulham's Premier League opener against Everton, but Cottagers' boss Marco Silva is far from convinced that Aleksandar Mitrovic will be remaining in west London this summer. “The market is open and everyone is looking for strikers. If you want to get a good striker, of course I believe that [clubs will look at] Mitro," he said prior to his side's trip to Goodison Park.

    For a long time, the Serbian seemed poised to become the latest Premier League star tempted by the Saudi Pro League, with Mitrovic long having agreed personal terms with Al-Hilal. However, Fulham are holding firm in their £50m ($63.2m) valuation, with the state-owned club not meeting this asking price as of yet. And with Al-Hilal spending big to sign Neymar, they could forego their pursuit of the Fulham star.

    Sadly for the Cottagers, there is another side looking for a proven Premier League striker now: Spurs. Mitrovic established himself as good enough for the English top-flight last season, and if he wants to take the next step in his career, Tottenham could be the club to choose.

  7. Jonathan David (Lille)

    Jonathan David (Lille)

    Could Jonathan David become the first Canadian player to pull on the famous white of Tottenham since Paul Stalteri? If so, Spurs will be hoping he can offer a little bit more in front of goal that the dependable, if unspectacular, full-back.

    The 23-year-old has been spoken about as a hot prospect for some time, but he came of age during the 2022-23 season, netting 24 Ligue 1 goals to help Lille secure a fifth-placed finish. Les Dogues are understood to be open to selling David this summer, provided their asking price is met and they can source a replacement. Negotiations would not be easy, but the ex-Gent man would be worth the hassle.

    Although his pace means he is brilliant at stretching defences and racing onto direct passes, David also likes to drop in a similar way to Kane, finishing last season with six assists in Ligue 1. He's also made no secret of his desire to move to the Premier League, telling RMC Sport: "I think it's possible, very possible. I don't know if I can find myself anywhere other than the Premier League. It could well be the Premier League."

    Young, exciting and prolific, David could be the perfect player to lead Postecoglou's side into their post-Kane era.

  8. Gift Orban (Gent)
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    Gift Orban (Gent)

    Gift Orban looks set to follow David's pathway from Gent to the top of the European game. He was in sizzling form for the Belgian side last season, helping himself to 20 goals in just 22 games.

    It's been quite the rise to relevance, with Orban only arriving in Europe from his native Nigeria in May 2022, when he signed for Norwegian second-division side Stabaek. A maiden, senior international cap is surely just around the corner, and perhaps even a Premier League move.

    While Orban clearly has potential - his excellent goal record proves that - it would be risky for Spurs to bank on him producing anything close to 'Kane numbers' during his first season in England. Still, if they can get a good deal, it might be worth snapping up Orban before his stock rises again during the current campaign.

  9. Amine Gouiri (Rennes)
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    Amine Gouiri (Rennes)

    Amine Gouiri was tipped for greatness after breaking through at Lyon as a teenager. In the end, things did not work out for him at Les Gones, but he has done a sterling job of building his reputation since.

    After quietly bubbling away at Nice for a few years, he moved to Rennes last summer. It proved to be an inspired decision, as Gouiri plundered 16 league goals operating as a centre-forward or left winger.

    His ability to shift between the front three when he's nominally leading the line can be extremely difficult to deal with, and combined with the direct running of Son and Kulusevski, he would make a neat addition to Postecoglou's attacking options.

    The only issue is Gouiri could be difficult to prise away from Rennes as he still has four years left to run on his contract. He'd also be giving up Europa League football by heading to north London, though the financial rewards on offer in England would soften this blow considerably.

  10. Kyogo Furuhashi (Celtic)
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    Kyogo Furuhashi (Celtic)

    If Postecoglou wants to recruit one of his trusted lieutenants, Kyogo Furuhashi could be airlifted in from Celtic. The 28-year-old has been a roaring success since arriving at Parkhead in July 2021, netting 34 times in just 50 appearances.

    The reigning SFWA Footballer of the Year played the best stuff of his career under Postecoglou and given the opportunity would surely be open to a reunion. Celtic will be desperate to prevent his departure, though, with new manager Brendan Rodgers recently calling him an "elite player".

    That may be true, but Spurs fans may take some convincing that Kyogo can replicate his dominance in the Premier League. Odsonne Edouard's struggles for Crystal Palace following his own move from Glasgow proves the step up in quality for players arriving in England can be challenging, and the Japan international would be under serious pressure to perform.

    Few people in football know Kyogo better than Postecoglou, though, and if he backs the striker to adjust to Premier League life, Spurs could push ahead in trying to agree a deal.

  11. Evan Ferguson (Brighton)

    Evan Ferguson (Brighton)

    Evan Ferguson is going right to the top - that much is pretty clear. Still only 18, the Irishman already has 11 senior Brighton goals to his name, including one in the Premier League on the opening day.

    He has shown signs of possessing everything you need to be a top-level striker in 2023, combining ruthless finishing, physicality and link-up play to pretty devastating effect.

    He would be an extremely smart signing for any club, let alone one in dire need of a new focal point following the departure of their star frontman. As much as Tottenham will be desperate to make Ferguson theirs, Brighton are highly unlikely to sell.

    Reports suggest they already believe the starlet will break the British transfer record one day, and it's easy to see why. These sort of figures are likely beyond Tottenham's reach - even after they bank Kane's eye-watering transfer fee.

    Despite this gloomy outlook, Spurs should still throw everything they have at securing Ferguson's services this summer. His asking price is only likely to get even larger, after all.