Man Utd need to push the boat out for Kane: Tottenham’s record goalscorer is final piece of the Ten Hag puzzle
Harry Kane’s trademark finish against Manchester City at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday gave his team a crucial victory in their pursuit of a top-four finish and saw him overtake Jimmy Greaves as the club’s all-time record goalscorer with 267 to his name from 416 games.
It is undoubtedly a remarkable achievement from the 29-year-old, who also became only the third player in history to reach 200 Premier League goals, after Alan Shearer and Wayne Rooney.
The problem is, Kane has nothing else noteworthy on his CV. He may be the greatest player to ever grace the pitch for Spurs, but he doesn’t have a single piece of silverware to show for his efforts.
Two years ago, City tried and failed to bring Kane to the Etihad Stadium. That decision ensured he missed out on becoming a Premier League title winner, as Pep Guardiola’s side lifted the 2021-22 trophy for their fourth domestic crown in the last five years.
City have moved on, with goalscoring machine Erling Haaland now leading the line, but their cross-city rivals Manchester United still have a No.9 gap that needs plugging.
And plugging it with Kane would make a lot of sense.
It has been reported that United hold a strong interest in Kane, whose current contract at Spurs is due to expire in June 2024. He has given very little away regarding his future, but has admitted that a lack of tangible success in north London continues to serve as a major source of frustration.
Pressed on whether extension talks with Spurs are now underway, Kane said last month: “There’s not been much talking, to be totally honest. I’m sure there will be conversations over the coming months. I know there's probably going to be rumours and a lot of talk about my future. But I’m just focused on what I can do.
"Of course, I want to win trophies with Tottenham Hotspur and that’s been my goal ever since I started playing first-team football with them. It hasn’t happened, I’ve been open about that, but I’ll continue to try and achieve that."
Six months ago, Old Trafford wasn’t the most attractive option, but Erik ten Hag has gradually transformed United back into a top side. A combination of superb man-management and shrewd recruitment choices have lifted the club out of the depths of despair and towards a bright future that promises to include trophies.
Indeed, United already have a Carabao Cup final date with Newcastle to look forward to, and are also going strong in both the Europa League and FA Cup. They could even still be considered Premier League title contenders after capitalising on Arsenal’s surprise defeat at Everton by beating Crystal Palace on Saturday.
And while domestic glory will probably be beyond United this time around, if they could lure Kane away from Spurs in the next transfer window, a first league title in over a decade could well be on the cards in 2023-24.
“If Harry Kane goes to Manchester United, then I can guarantee that he’s going to win the Premier League,” former United striker Louis Saha said in a recent interview with Betfred.
“With Manchester United’s current set-up and their approach to games tactically, then having a forward that can come into that team and score you 25 goals a season will be the last piece of the puzzle.”
At the moment, United are having to rely on Burnley loanee Wout Weghorst as their main centre-forward, with Anthony Martial still unable to shake off persistent fitness concerns and Marcus Rashford thriving in a role on the left-wing.
Weghorst is already eyeing a permanent deal, too, as he revealed after opening his scoring account for the club in their Carabao Cup semi-final first-leg win over Nottingham Forest: “Of course. The situation now is how it was – it was for a loan. It’s a massive club so I will try to do everything as good as I can, and if it will work out it will be a good option.
“The club was looking for a target man. With Martial there was only one real striker, more of a No.9. They just wanted to add one and then it's up to me and to take your chances.”
Weghorst is certainly a decent player - he’s adept at holding the ball up, presses relentlessly when United are out of possession and will chip in with the odd goal. The Dutchman is by no means prolific, though.
Kane can do everything Weghorst can, and so much more. The Spurs and England captain scores goals from every angle, and his passing range is exceptional. Not only will he be there to finish off attacks, but he will also start many himself, while finding unique ways to open up defences because his general footballing IQ is extremely high.
To put it more simply, Kane is a world-class player that would fit into any top side in Europe.
For someone of such undeniable quality to end his career without at least one or two trophies in his cabinet is unthinkable. Kane deserves his big move this year, and United will hope a cut-price deal can be done as he enters the final 12 months of his current contract.
Rashford has shouldered the main scoring burden at Old Trafford admirably this season, but he will not be the long-term replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo - who left the club under a cloud of controversy in November.
Ten Hag needs Kane for United to start scaling the dizzy heights of the Sir Alex Ferguson era once again, and Kane needs United if he is serious about winning trophies. It's a match made in heaven.