City’s new loan signing Harry Kane has vowed to keep firmly in the goals following his eleventh hour switch from Spurs last week.
The 19-year-old Tottenham starlet trained for the first time with his new team-mates at Colney yesterday and told the club’s official website that he was here to score the goals that would keep Chris Hughton’s Canaries firmly out of harm’s way relegation-wise.
“I want to make the most of my time here and move on as a player,” said the teenager, who made six first team appearances for Spurs last season – scoring one goal.
He also made 28 appearances on loan at Millwall last season. Scoring ten goals in the process – no mean feat for a tender teenager.
Little wonder that the young man has a taste for goals.
‘I’ll be looking to score as many goals as I can for Norwich,” he added. “That’s what I’ve done and that’s how I’ve built up my career until now, by scoring goals.”
The interesting lines, however, came not from the player himself; nor Canary boss Hughton after pulling off such an unexpected capture late on Friday night.
Rather that of Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas.
Speaking on the eve of the new season, the Tottenham chief dropped every hint that Kane would be part of his Premier League plans – that he would be his third-choice striker behind Jermain Defoe and Emanuel Adebayor.
Both figured in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Norwich as the North London Champions League hopefuls looked less than threatening – certainly up until the arrival of Mousa Dembele for the second period.
“Kane is a young striker that we believe in and who we trust for the future,” Villas-Boas told The Guardian newspaper, among others.
“Kane is in our plans and I can give you an example,” added the new Spurs chief, as he laid out his strike plans for the season. Kane included.
“Last year, I had two strikers at Chelsea [his former club] of great dimension and Tottenham had three strikers of great dimension – Adebayor, Defoe and [Roman] Pavlyuchenko.
“Normally there is one that doesn’t get game time. That’s not because you don’t rotate enough but because when you play a system with one striker, it is very difficult to get the third one to play enough.
“Normally on my teams, I like to promote the third one as a young striker, who is competing for that place a bit more aggressively.”
That third, young striker has now arrived in Norfolk with Hughton’s insider knowledge of the club clearly working to his favour.
Should Kane get his chance ahead of the likes of a Simeon Jackson and a near-fit Jacob Butterfield and then go on to deliver on his goal promise, Villas-Boas may yet have cause to regret his loan decision – particularly if Tottenham themselves prove to goal-lite. Or, indeed, should Defoe pick up an injury.
Hughton’s main worry is, by contrast, rather nice. Who exactly does he drop to accommodate the Kanes and the Alex Tettey’s of this world on the back of the level of Norwich’s performances over the last two games?
Or for the visit of West Ham United on September 15th does he stick with the same formula – and reward Bradley Johnson with another start and keeps Tettey under wraps for another week?
The same argument could apply to Jackson – and, no doubt, Mr Butterfield will have something to add to the party now that his match fitness is almost complete on the back of his recent Under-21 outings.
It is, in short, nice problems to have for Hughton; a situation that looked far from assured at a little before five o’clock on the opening day of this season.