Month: August 2015

Harry Kane’s Slow Start is no Surprise

He burst onto the scene in October last year and took the Premier League by storm after waiting six years to become an overnight success, but this season Harry Kane is off to a stuttering start, this should be no surprise, however.

Kane scored 21 goals in 34 matches last season, finishing the season as the top English goalscorer as Tottenham ended the campaign in 5th.

Spurs’ star striker was rewarded for his fine form in March with his first senior England call-up and repaid the faith Roy Hodgson showed in him by scoring on his Three Lions debut in the 4-0 win over Lithuania within 80 seconds of replacing captain Wayne Rooney.

Goals dried up for Kane after April, with his hat-trick in the 4-3 win over Leicester on March 21 ironically seeming to be the start of a downfall before his strike at Everton on the last day of the season.

As soon as Tottenham’s season ended, they jetted off to Malaysia to play a local League XI, who Mauricio Pochettino’s men beat 2-1 with Kane scoring both for the English side before they were clocking up the air miles once more, this time flying to Australia to beat Sydney FC 1-0 where Kane again.

Kane scores in Malaysia as he impresses in pre-season

Kane scores in Malaysia as he impresses in pre-season

The U21 European Championship followed three weeks later which Kane, a first-teamer for England, refreshingly put himself forward for where others have felt the under-21s have been beneath them.

England and Kane were lackluster, however, only two goals were scored in the three games played with Kane failing to find the back of the net.

Tottenham’s pre-season friendlies for 2015-16 started on July 29 with a 2-1 defeat to MLS All-Stars (Kane scored Tottenham’s goal), but more travelling for the north Londoners, this time to Munich for the Audi Cup, took its toll on the 22-year-old.

Real Madrid beat last year’s League Cup runners up 2-0, but they responded with a 2-0 win of their own against AC Milan, with Kane failing to score in both games.

Pochettino has already admitted the long pre-season has left his star “tired”, and his failure to sign a striker over the summer has led to him rushing Kane back.

Two bids for West Brom’s Saido Berahino have already been rejected and if Tottenham do not secure his, or someone else’s signature soon, they could be forced to keep burn out a talent whose career is only just starting.

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Chelsea’s signing of Pedro further enforces how much the top English clubs are lagging behind

Chelsea today announced the signing of Barcelona forward Pedro for £21 million, beating rivals Manchester United to his signature, but it highlights the fall in the Premier League’s pulling power.

There is no doubting the quality of the man who boasts three Champions League medals, five La Ligas, one World Cup and a European Championship among others in his collection, but he has only come available once deemed surplus to requirements at Barcelona following the arrivals of Neymar and Luis Suarez in recent years.

One of Jose Mourinho’s big money additions last summer Cesc Fabregas arrived in England under similar circumstances, leaving Catalonia after only winning one La Liga and one Spanish Cup domestically back home as well as Ivan Rakitic pushing him out the eleven.

Making himself at home: Pedro reunites with friend Fabregas

Making himself at home: Pedro reunites with friend Fabregas

Not only that, but back in 2011 he departed the club that gave him his professional debut, Arsenal, as soon as boyhood team Barcelona came calling again.

Arsenal’s big money moves from recent seasons, Mesut Ozil (£42.4 million) and Alexis Sanchez (£35 million) were too both castaways from La Liga giants Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively.

The Gunners are currently too in the hunt for Madrid’s Karim Benzema, a talented striker, but one that scored just 15 goals last term, 33 behind leading scorer Cristiano Ronaldo.

Even giants Manchester United are losing the ability to attract the biggest talents on the planet. Angel di Maria joined from Madrid this time last year for a British record fee of £59.7 million after he found himself out of favour due to political reasons of not being as globally marketable as James Rodriguez who shone at the 2014 World Cup prior to joining the Spanish capital.

Di Maria flopped at Old Trafford and promptly signed for PSG, the club he reportedly wanted to be at instead of Manchester United, earlier this month.

City of Love: Di Maria has left for PSG after never being fond of England

City of Love: Di Maria has left for PSG after never being fond of England

Louis van Gaal’s side added Bastian Schweinsteiger to their ranks during pre-season, but his ex-manager Pep Guardiola has said the German is past his best so was evidently happy to sell the one time World Cup winner.

Fellow Bayern Munich man Thomas Muller is also being targeted, but the chances of signing Bavaria’s favourite son will be slim, with a £60 million bid already rumoured to have been rejected.

Attempts to sign Sergio Ramos too were rebuffed, while first choice goalkeeper David De Gea is also likely to leave if Real Madrid show the desire to sign him.

The Premier League may well be the most watched and most competitive league in the world, but when it comes to the transfer market, the world’s elite would rather stay at home.