Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane notched his 151st Premier League goal in the 2-0 victory over Arsenal to move him up to ninth in the scoring charts, above Michael Owen and 11 behind Jermain Defoe.
The goals just keep coming for Kane, who scored his eighth in Premier League games this season, despite Jose Mourinho opting to use him in a deeper position.
But will the Spurs talisman be able to keep it going long enough to overtake Alan Shearer’s record tally of 260 top-flight strikes?Embed from Getty Images
Shearer’s record has always been one of those ‘harder-than-it-seems’ ones to break. When you see the numbers Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo put up then 260 doesn’t look that big.
But the Premier League has been around for 25 years now, and nobody has ever looked like they were going to break it…until Kane.
Not everybody is convinced though. Peter Crouch, who managed 108 Premier League goals of his own, is yet to be convinced that the Spurs man is guaranteed to make history.
“He’s a certainty to join Alan Shearer and Wayne Rooney in the 200-club but beating Shearer’s total of 260 will be a tall order,” said Crouch, whose Radio 5 Live show is considered one of the best sports podcasts today.
Rooney topped out at 200
Is it a tall order? Perhaps in the era of Messi (447 La Liga goals) and Ronaldo (750 career goals), our perceptions become a little warped.
The fact that someone like Wayne Rooney (208) fell almost 50 shy speaks volumes for Shearer. But Rooney’s Premier League career is a good benchmark for what it would it take for Kane or someone else to overtake Shearer.
Rooney, who is also England’s record scorer, had 16 full seasons in the Premier League before he packed his bags for Washington D.C in the summer of 2018.
To match Shearer in that time, he would have had to score an average of 16.25 goals per season. He managed an even 13.Embed from Getty Images
That puts his goals per games ratio at 0.42, behind Shearer on 0.59 and well off the Premier League’s most efficient strikers; Sergio Aguero, Thierry Henry and Kane (all on 0.68 goals per game).
Henry spent a surprisingly short time at Arsenal (eight and a bit seasons), not long enough to trouble Shearer while Aguero looks like he has left himself too much to do having already reached his 32nd birthday with 80 more goals to score.
Efficiency could be key for Kane
It doesn’t sound like a stretch to say Kane could, and should beat Shearer’s record if he continues the way he’s going but there’s a couple ways to look at it.
First of all, how many games it would take for Kane to match Shearer if the Spurs man continues his scoring rate? The answer is 159. So, that would be five more seasons averaging 30 games, which would take Kane up to 260 goals by the age of 32.
Players change, however, and people watching Spurs this season will have noticed how Kane has become a provider, as well as a scorer, of goals. So, let’s say that Kane’s goals per game ratio drops back in the latter half of his career.
To what level? Well, let’s put him at Wayne Rooney’s 0.42, which seems fair as Rooney was always seen as the man to sacrifice himself for the good of the team.
At that rate, it would take 260 games for Kane to match Shearer. So, he would need eight seasons at 32.5 games per season. Or nine seasons at 29 games which would take him up to the age of 35 and 36 respectively.
So the answer to the question in the title; ‘Will Harry Kane be the man to break Alan Shearer’s Premier League scoring record?’ seems to lie somewhere in the ratios.Embed from Getty Images
If Kane stays on his current trajectory, he will smash Shearer’s record with a few years to spare; if he drops down to the Wayne Rooney-level, which, we should add, is still excellent, he will be cutting it rather fine.
This puts into perspective how difficult it will be to break that record.
As Peter Crouch said: “It will be a tall order. “