Harry Kane is amazing. I think we can all agree on that. Kane's performances over in the Europa League this season have been marvelous. The 21 year-old wonderkid has scored 7 goals so far this season and in just 16 starts in a Tottenham shirt, he has scored 12 goals-sure he's had 20 substitute appearances too, but ignore that. Many, myself included, have long been calling for Kane to lead the Tottenham Hotspur line, but recent performances suggest that his best position might be elsewhere.
Harry Kane has played a lot of his best football when utilized as a supporting striker. He had a great run in the Millwall team a couple years ago when he was used in that role and in the Tottenham youth ranks, he often dropped deeper in support of a more advanced striker. On Thursday, we saw just how effective Kane can be in a withdrawn role. Partnered with the increasingly limited Emmanuel Adebayor, Kane still managed to link play well, get on the ball effectively and bag a hat trick.
Kane would almost certainly pair better with Roberto Soldado. The two have played together in a couple of Europa League matches thus far, but usually with Kane playing wide on the left. Played behind Soldado, who is a natural poacher with a deft touch, Kane would almost certainly find himself in goal-scoring positions on a regular basis.
If supporting striker is, in fact, Kane's best position, then Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has a problem. He has too many good, in-form players and not enough attacking midfield positions to play them in. As of this moment, Pochettino has four in-form players for his three attacking midfield spots: Erik Lamela, Christian Eriksen, Nacer Chadli, and Kane.
Playing Kane in the hole behind a striker necessitates either dropping Eriksen entirely, something which many would find unpalatable or shifting him out to the left or dropping him into midfield. Eriksen was incredibly effective when played on the left last season, but his defensive work ahead of Danny Rose was always a little suspect. For that same reason, dropping him into a double pivot in midfield is probably not a wise course of action.
Moving Eriksen out wide necessitates dropping either Erik Lamela, Tottenham's record signing who seems to have finally found his confidence, or Nacer Chadli, the club's leading scorer in the Premier League. Chadli is probably the obvious casualty, as his goal-scoring won't be needed as much with Kane in the first team. Lamela, clearly, is not going to be dropped, especially if he keeps scoring 20-yard Rabonas.
I'm certainly not averse to having Kane lead the line for Tottenham either now or in the future, but I think that, in the long-term, Spurs and Kane would be best served by playing the youngster in a more supporting role. In my mind, Harry Kane is a bigger Francesco Totti. Roma's talismanic forward has been utilized as a supporting striker and lone striker and has always found success thanks to his intelligent movement and deft finishing touch. Granted, Totti is, and probably always will be, a better passer than Kane, but that could very well be Kane's ceiling.
No matter how Pochettino uses Kane, it should be clear that the young Englishman must be included in Tottenham's starting XI whenever possible. If Kane leads the line, I certainly won't be upset, but think we should at least see what can be accomplished with Kane playing in a more supporting role.