Kane's ex-coach talks up versatility, but Spurs have him in right position

Noel Blake believes that Tottenham Hotspur star Harry Kane is capable of being more than just a goalscorer.

Speaking to the Guardian, Blake - who coached Kane at Under-19 level - believes that the forward can be just as good a number 10 as an out-and-out striker.

“He was more of a No10,” Blake said. “And he played in midfield too, like a No8. We played with three strikers and Harry was like a roaming striker-come-midfield player.

“From our point of view, it’s about development. He was terrific. Yes, Harry is scoring goals now, but he can be just as good as a No10.”

For Kane, on current form he could probably play anywhere and be a success. However, he has shown his real ability is scoring goals and finishing chances, and it appears as if he will continue as a number nine for the foreseeable future.

Blake may feel as if he impressed as a number 10 at youth level, but he has yet to show any of those abilities in the Premier League. Playing as a second-striker, you need to be able to create play more than finish chances, and the key traits involved are winning flick-ons, playing key passes, and being able to link up play between the midfield and forward lines with accurate passing ability.

  Key Passes per GameBig Chances Created per GameFlick-Ons per GameFinal Third Passes per Game
Harry Kane 0.8 0.1 0.7 8.4

As can be seen, the 21-year-old does not stand up well in any of those areas. He is adept at playing key passes, but they hardly ever create clear cut scoring opportunities, and his low completed flick-on rate sees him often lose the ball. He also only completes 8.5 final third passes per game, a tally that should be much higher for a player meant to dominate play in the attacking zone.

By comparison, Kane’s finishing stats do much to back up his ability as a real goal poacher, and the natural successor to the likes of Gerd Muller and Gary Lineker.

  Goals per GameOn-Target Shots per GameShots per GameConversion RatePercentage of Goals Inside Box
Harry Kane 0.7 1.4 3.2 23.% 90%

He has scored an incredible 90% of his goals from inside the penalty area, and his conversion rate of 23% is one of the highest in the Premier League. His on-target conversion rate is even better, as he scores with almost every other attempt that goes on target.

Blake may have been impressed with Kane as a playmaker when he was growing up, but, right now, the 21-year-old is the ultimate form of poaching striker.

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