Written by Samson Oyeneye
For a club with 83 league goals scored, 27 league wins and an average of 2.18 goals per league match you can easily assume that adding an elite striker like Harry Kane is a luxury. Given how effective Pep Guardiola’s no-striker system was last season, a system that led the club to the Premier League title, the Carabao Cup and the Champions League final whilst scoring lot of goals along the way, you certainly have to ask whether Manchester City really need Harry Kane.
City’s financial muscle and European ambition means that winning the Champions League remains the last index to measure the success of the Abu Dhabi group take over. Winning the champions league requires beating the best clubs on the continent, and last month’s loss to Chelsea in Europe’s premier competition remains a deep scar on a domestically successful season.
While many believed that City’s treble of consecutive losses to Thomas Tuchel’s dogged Chelsea team tell three different stories, one thing that remains constant in all three losses is that it exposed one tactical deficiency in Guardiola’s set up; the lack of penetration into Chelsea’s compact low block. City struggled to break down Chelsea’s low block with the unconvincing Gabriel Jesus and injury ravaged Sergio Aguero. Kane’s accomplished hold up play, aerial proficiency, penalty box awareness and ability to play alone makes him a route one option against low blocks, an option that was unavailable to Pep last season.
To avoid a repeat of last season which saw Ilkay Gundogan finish as City’s top scorer, especially after the departure of El Kun, a striker of Harry Kane’s status offers continuity in goal scoring and offers dynamic technical skills which can only come at a luxurious cost of course. With 37 goals contribution in the Premier League last season – 23 goals and 14 assists – Harry Kane measures with the best in the creative department.
On paper, signing for City makes sense. Kane guarantees goals and Guardiola guarantees silverware. However, winning the league and coming close in Europe raises a doubt on the need for such investment, putting into consideration the valuation of the player. Also, last season’s success might see Guardiola continue with the “no-striker system”. Is Kane ready to be a bench option?
Life, of course, is expected to be easier for Kane in a team like Pep’s City. Whether it will taste as nice as the royalty he’s been enjoying at Tottenham however, is another question.
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