Toothless Spurs missing injured Harry Kane's killer instincts

Tottenham's Harry Kane celebrates scoring their first goal with team mates

Mauricio Pochettino's men have been found wanting in front of goal in recent weeks without their talismanic striker.

Tottenham Hotspur's fortuitous 0-0 draw with Bayer Leverkusen in Tuesday night's Champions League Group E clash served to underline their reliance on injured striker Harry Kane, who is set to return to first-team training following an ankle ligament injury in last month's 1-0 win over Sunderland.

Despite an underwhelming start to the season for Kane, who scooped last season's Premier League golden boot award after registering a majestic haul of 25 league goals, the prolific Englishman remains absolutely pivotal to the way that Spurs operate as an attacking force.

In the first half of Tuesday's game Spurs comfortably dominated the encounter, much like they did in Saturday's 1-1 draw at West Brom, with their incessant pressing and sharp interplay proving too much for their German opponents to handle; as the midfield triumvirate of Dele Alli, Christian Eriksen and Erik Lamela cut through the Bundesliga side's defensive lines with ease.

However, in a frustrating repeat of Saturday's performance at The Hawthorns, they lacked the killer touch to convert their dominance into goals.

Kane's uncanny knack of finding the back of the net when presented with even half a chance is unquantifiable in terms of value, and in Champions League encounters, where scoring when you are on top is paramount if you are to enjoy any form of success, his absence is felt even more sorely.

A series of presentable opportunities did fall the way of Dele Alli and £17million signing Vincent Janssen, who is yet to find his goal-scoring touch since his summer move from the Eredivisie, but the former AZ Alkmaar striker finished with the air of a man who is feeling the weight of his hefty price tag and failed to breach Bernd Leno's goal with a series of unconvincing attempts.

With five goals to his name already, Son-Heung Min has stepped up to the plate admirably in Kane's absence, however the former Leverkusen sensation does not possess the rare variety of tools required to shoulder the entirety of Spurs' scoring burden in the way that his 23-year-old teammate has done so admirably in recent years, and the South Korean cannot be expected to sustain his hot-streak in front of goal for a prolonged period of time.

Kane's ability to drop back into midfield and link up play or effectively run the channels when The Lilywhites are under the cosh was also greatly missed in the second half of Tuesday night's European encounter, as a guileful Leverkusen outfit turned the screw on Mauricio Pochettino's side; with the easily nullified attacking pair of Janssen and Son unable to provide their defensive colleagues with any form of respite during a relentless 45 minute onslaught.

Had it not been for the heroics of Spurs' goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, who defied the laws of physics with a breathtaking second half save to preserve Spurs' clean sheet, the North Londoners would likely have headed back to White Hart Lane staring down the barrel of their second defeat in three Champions League outings, however, as it stands, they live to fight another day - but the talismanic Kane's return cannot come soon enough.

Kane is the finest natural goalscorer that English football has seen for many years and, though his genius is seldom taken for granted by the adoring White Hart Lane faithful, his importance to what Pochettino is trying to achieve at Spurs has been brought to the fore once again by the Lilywhite's recent woes in front of goal.

News of the England international's impending return to training will be music to the ears of Spurs' fans and, with the Lilywhites looking to better last season's breathtaking campaign by mounting an assault on the Premier League title and progressing through to the Champions League knockout stages, the 23-year-old's goal-scoring heroics are more needed now than ever.

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