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Comparing Harry Kane's 2014-15 Stats to His 2015-16 Numbers

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 20:  Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur applauds the crowd after the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and A.F.C. Bournemouth at White Hart Lane on March 20, 2016 in London, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Clive Rose/Getty Images
Thomas CooperFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 9, 2017

Harry Kane is in the middle of a season he and everyone associated with Tottenham Hotspur will hope has plenty of highs left in store.

The hype generated by his individual rise to prominence in 2014-15 has given way to involvement in greater team-wide recognition in 2015-16. It's the product of head coach Mauricio Pochettino overseeing a Premier League title challenge that, with seven matches to go, still has considerable life in it.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 20:  Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur is chased by Max Gradel of Bournemouth during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and A.F.C. Bournemouth at White Hart Lane on March 20, 2016 in London, United Kingdom.
Clive Rose/Getty Images

Kane's contributions to it thus far have been less spectacular than last season but, as borne out by the statistics, similarly valuable. Looking at both his evolving influence on Tottenham and his continued individual standing among peers elsewhere, this article looks at how his numbers compare to his name-making year.

All statistics are gathered via WhoScored unless otherwise noted, and unless stated, comparisons made to rival players refer to league stats only.

First up, the most important number of them all for a striker.


24 Goals (and Counting) Ease Comedown Fears

Kane's brace in Tottenham's 3-0 over Bournemouth last Sunday earned him the above Bleacher Report accolade and the honour of going top of the Premier League's scoring chart.

His 20th and 21st league goals took his overall tally to 24. The latter number is seven short of last year's 31 overall, but he has already matched his top-flight total for the same period.

KAUNAS, LITHUANIA - OCTOBER 12:  Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy of England warm up prior to the UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying Group E match between Lithuania and England at LFF Stadionas on October 12, 2015 in Kaunas, Lithuania.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Imag
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Kane overtook Leicester City's Jamie Vardy (on 19) with that double and will hope further goals can contribute to second-place Spurs successfully chasing down the first-place Foxes. Even if that does not happen, his prolific scoring has gone a long way to silencing those who suggested he might be a flash in the pan.

Talk of the forward suffering from "second-season syndrome" was always a little off the mark to begin with. His gradual first-team introduction throughout 2013-14—culminating in three goals in as many games in the spring—already preceded Pochettino's own initial steady harnessing of him.

Anyone who watched Kane properly last season, or even early on this one, should not have had any significant doubts about his viability. He was doing everything but score up until and then after his strike in September's 4-1 win over Manchester City.

The near-instant impact of new signing Heung-Min Son in wins over Qarabag and Crystal Palace helped see Spurs through that month. Kane and his team toiled a little more in October with another new forward option Clinton Njie needing more time to settle.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 20:  Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates as he scores their first goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and A.F.C. Bournemouth at White Hart Lane on March 20, 2016 in London, United Kingdom.
Paul Gilham/Getty Images

Between his hat-trick in October 25's 5-1 win over Bournemouth to the two that helped see the Cherries off last time out, the England striker has barely stopped scoring.

For the better part of the last decade, a solid league total for Spurs strikers like Dimitar Berbatov, Jermain Defoe and Robbie Keane was somewhere in the teens. Kane has now gone beyond that two seasons in a row without even hitting his stride before mid-autumn. It's an even more impressive feat in '15-16 given he lacked the previous year's confidence-boosting cup runs.

"I think I told you before I think Harry is one of the best strikers in the world," Pochettino said in his post-Bournemouth press conference. "Today was fantastic—his performance, he scored—I think it was a very good game for him."


Tottenham Hotspur's English striker Harry Kane (L) celebrates after scoring their second goal during the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal at White Hart Lane in London, on March 5, 2016. / AFP / IKIMAGES / IKimage
IKIMAGES/Getty Images

Context and Composition

Kane recently became the 12th Tottenham man to net 20 times or more "in successive seasons since the club entered the Football League in 1908"—per the club's official website. His opportune, almost glory-grabbing strike in the 2-2 draw with title and capital rivals Arsenal sealed that little slice of history.

The goals against Bournemouth made him just the seventh player to do so for the north Londoners in the league, the first since Martin Chivers in the early 1970s. He also joined elite English company in the Premier League era (see below).

Chivers had nothing but praise for his multiple-generation-removed successor, telling the Spurs website in an interview this week:

Harry strikes a terrific ball, he’s not frightened to shoot and the key thing that he shoots quickly, so goalkeepers aren’t set for the shot. He catches them out that way. One of the main things about Harry in my view is that he can score with both feet. Not all great goalscorers can do that. Harry can also head the ball, so he’s an all-round scorer of goals and that’s a handy ability to have, especially when he gets into the positions he gets in to.

His finishing touch regained (competitively and philanthropically, see above video), the prolific nature of Kane's scoring has been similarly varied as in 2014-15.

In all competitions, he has scored one more double than last season (five to four), one fewer hat-trick (that effort against Bournemouth) and one goal in 11 games compared to 17.

Of those league goals, five have come in London derbies and six against teams currently also in the top six. Last season the corresponding tallies were eight and five (obviously different clubs have come and gone in both categories).


Benefiting from a Better Spurs?

One of the familiar sights of Kane's 2014-15 was him charging fearlessly at opposition defences, picking the ball up deep and powering past challenges to force the back line into unwanted territorial losses (his first goal in the 5-3 win over Chelsea the most notable example).

The difference of 1.2 dribbles per game compared to 1.5 last season is a reflection of opponents getting a slightly better handle on this threat. But it is also a consequence of Kane having more to work with in the final third and less need to generate chances by himself.

As the above statistic shows, Dele Alli has been a frequent provider for Kane.

The teenager's combination of directness and collaboration has focused the work of the Spurs attack while still helping facilitate the fluidity of it at its best. Add to that the continued production of others like Christian Eriksen and Erik Lamela, as well as inviting deliveries from full-backs Danny Rose and Kyle Walker (the latter setting up Kane's opener against Bournemouth), and you can see why Kane's shots per game have gone from 3.3 up to 4.1.

Elsewhere, Kane's numbers reflect his impressive maintaining of a high level of performance within the parameters of Pochettino's playing style.

Jon Super/Associated Press

Though recording fewer assists than last season (just two), he is still a constructive part of attacks outside of finishing. His 1.2 key passes is up from 0.9 and still in line with Premier League peers in an era when more than poaching is largely required from a forward. By comparison, last season's top scorer Sergio Aguero has the same number of assists and fewer move-shaping passes, and this year's chief golden boot rival Vardy is in front with six and 1.4, respectively.

While a little less is needed from Kane in the creative department, he continues to consistently contribute to the dirty work so intrinsic to Spurs' aggressive football. More than once against Bournemouth, Kane could be seen chasing back to make a challenge and harrying nearby defenders.

Overall this season, his tackles made are only slightly down—0.9 from 1—while his 0.5 interceptions remain the same. Only Vardy and Olivier Giroud compare well in both categories among the division's top scorers—it is probably no coincidence Leicester and Arsenal are Spurs' fellow title chasers.

Tottenham going on to take the Premier League crown will almost certainly require Kane to continue to deliver. Assuming he stays fit, this season has shown there is little reason to believe he cannot do his part.


Quotes obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted.

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