Watch out Leeds, Harry Kane is fit and firing again, ready to make his mark under Antonio Conte. After admitting that this summer’s Euro 2020 heartbreak and relentless transfer saga has taken its toll on the striker both mentally and physically, last night’s demolition of Albania was the perfect therapy for Kane.
Header, left foot, right football, perfect hat-trick. And that was before we heard the sound of the half-time whistle.
Kane cut a slightly frustrated figure as his number was raised by the fourth official earlier in the second half: he did not want his fun to end.
But in truth, there was simply no harm in substituting Kane after he’d already wreaked havoc and the risk of injury with the game already won was not one worth taking.
This was perhaps a sign of things to come and there was a sense that the beast inside Kane could be awakening following the arrival of Conte at Tottenham.
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Kane needs regular service and Conte need to buy into that by encouraging his players to get forward with freedom.
Emerson Royal is yet to showcase his quality going forward at ring-wing-back as of yet.
There was a stark contrast in quality between the Brazilian and James’ delivers while Kane is often a sole forward in the opposition box at club level.
Conte appears set on a midfield duo of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Oliver Skipp and neither are willing to break lines and support the forwards.
Yet for England – although Albania were hardly the most troubling opposition – everyone was keen to get involved as the Three Lions attacked in numbers.
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Tottenham are building from the back and while the rhythm in attack will come, Kane needs some encouragement whether that’s through the introduction of Dele Alli, Giovani Lo Celso or even Tanguy Ndombele.
It’s no coincidence the goals have dried up since the Frenchman found himself out of favour with Spurs desperately lacking a creative spark.
Furthermore, Gareth Southgate’s constant backing of Kane in the press will have done wonders for his confidence.
While surely nobody is daft enough to write off Kane, Southgate was not prepared to consider dropping him.
In time, it was clear the goals would come and if Conte makes it clear that his team will be shaped around Kane – like it was Romelu Lukaku at Inter Milan – a flurry of goals will follow in due course.