As incredible as the story of Harry Kane is, after his goal last Friday for England against a very poor Lithuania team you'd be forgiven for thinking that the furor over his current run of form had reached Peak Ridiculousness™.
Thanks, Rodney Marsh.
In an interview with TalkSPORT, the former England striker not only stated that Kane is "a much better player than Angel Di Maria" but claimed that he's worth £100m.
"I reckon he is worth £100million, I honestly do. If I was a chairman of a football club, that is what I would pay for Harry Kane.
I think he is going to go on to become a bigger and better player than Alan Shearer.
Manchester City paid £32million for a relatively untried young player called Eliaquim Mangala. If Mangala is worth £32million, Harry Kane is worth £100million all day long in my opinion.
£60million for Di Maria? I think Harry Kane is a much better player than Di Maria, in the Premier League."
Marsh went on to reiterate his belief that Kane would leave the club this summer (along with Raheem Sterling), presumably for said exorbitant fee.
So let's deconstruct this a little. Is Harry Kane worth £100m? Is he worth £50m? Well, we don't know. How do you put a value on a player who has rocketed from obscurity to scoring for England in five month's time? There's no way anyone can truly put a concrete valuation on Harry Kane's play because the circumstances surrounding his ascendence are so completely bizarre. Who does this? What player has made such an impact coming out of nowhere in such a short period of time?
And in any event, pinning any valuation on Harry Kane at this point is largely irrelevant, because we have absolutely no idea if Daniel Levy is even open to the possibility of his sale. Would Daniel Levy sell him at all? What's the "stupid money" threshold whereby a Harry Kane bid from, say, Manchester United is suddenly viable? Would a sale to a foreign club, as opposed to a domestic one, matter? No idea. Nobody knows. I doubt even Daniel Levy knows at this point.
Punditry like this is annoying because the numbers come out of a complete vacuum, drift around the internet for a while, and are amplified and repeated to an extent whereby suddenly Kane is tagged with "a £100m price tag." Now, all of a sudden the narrative surrounding him is not so much his play, his rise to stardom, and his love of football, but the circumstances surrounding his inevitable future transfer to a larger club for obscene amounts of money. Why? Because some guy on TalkSPORT said he'd pay £100m to secure his services, as if this were a game of Football Manager.
In many ways, what Rodney Marsh has done to Harry Kane here is incredibly unfair. While Kane has had a wonderful season, lumping a context-free price on his head and comparing him, unfairly, to Angel Di Maria (who is six years his senior) reduces him from a promising footballer to a commodity. The hyperbole at play is staggering, overstated, and dumb.
We know Daniel Levy is not immune to the pull of a good football transfer deal, but he's not talking, nor should he, about Harry Kane's inevitable transfer for large amounts of money to Megabucks FC. Instead, he's enjoying watching him play, as should we.