Harry Kane could well be the next high-profile departure from Tottenham — even if they lift the Carabao Cup on Sunday.
The England striker has enjoyed perhaps his best campaign to date and reports suggest he wants to leave at the end of the season if Spurs fail to reach the Champions League.
Following Jose Mourinho’s unexpected exit on Monday, the likelihood of the North London outfit qualifying for anything other than the Europa League appears highly unlikely.
So it is understandable that Kane, who turns 28 in July, would want to look elsewhere as he chases major honours — despite the fact Tottenham signed up for the now seemingly doomed European Super League.
Ahead of tonight’s Premier League clash with Southampton, we turn the spotlight on whether the Three Lions skipper has to leave to achieve greatness.
Weighing up the options
Tottenham’s inclusion in the proposed formation of the ESL confirms their place among the ‘big boys’.
But the question remains whether Spurs can expect to win trophies on a regular basis.
Considering they have not claimed any silverware since the League Cup in 2008, the outlook is bleak.
Spurs could end their drought at Wembley on Sunday against Manchester City, who will be desperate to get their hands on the trophy after being knocked out of the FA Cup by Chelsea.
With a few new signings and some good fortune, they might one day be able to win the Premier League or Champions League.
But history suggests Tottenham will be unable to sustain any form of regular success in the coming years.
It seems highly likely then that Kane will be forced to move on if he hopes to end his career with an enviable collection of medals.
That is something only the likes of City, Bayern Munich, Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona and Real Madrid would be able to offer.
Kane need only look to England colleague Kyle Walker to see what can be achieved by leaving Spurs.
Since heading to the Etihad Stadium in 2017, the defender has won six major honours with more sure to follow before the season is over.
Juve have won nine consecutive league titles, Bayern eight and PSG three, while Real and Barca have claimed the last six LaLiga crowns between them.
In the last eight seasons, Los Blancos have also won the Champions League on four occasions. Bayern have lifted it twice and both Barcelona and Liverpool have won it once during that period.
The England skipper really has established himself as a prolific striker and this is the seventh consecutive season Kane has scored 20 or more goals in all competitions.
He has a goal ratio of 0.72 per 90 minutes in 2020-21 and has produced 13 league assists from 30 games.
Based on league performances, Kane sits sixth on the list of goals and assists per 90 minutes across Europe’s top five leagues, with a ratio of 1.16.
Only Luis Muriel, Robert Lewandowski, Kylian Mbappe, Erling Haaland and Lionel Messi boast better numbers.
In the Premier League — widely recognised as the most competitive in Europe — Kane’s tally of 21 puts him top of the pile for goals per 90 minutes.
Without doubt, this has been one of the all-time great individual campaigns.
It is no surprise Kane is among the front-runners to be voted PFA and FWA Player of the Year — tremendous achievements in their own right.
Already a two-time Premier League Golden Boot winner, Kane finished 10th at the Best FIFA Men’s Player award in 2019 and was top scorer at the 2018 World Cup.
The Tottenham man is also on course to break Alan Shearer’s all-time Premier League scoring record of 260, with Kane just 96 strikes behind.
Assessing the priorities
The choice ultimately comes down to whether individual accolades are enough to satisfy Kane’s desires and, like Steven Gerrard at Liverpool, if winning the odd trophy at a boyhood club means that much more.
However, comments made in March 2020 suggest his priorities may lie elsewhere.
Speaking on Instagram Live, Kane said: “I love Spurs, I’ll always love Spurs, but I’ve always said if I don’t feel we’re progressing as a team or going in the right direction, I’m not someone to stay there for the sake of it.”
With Europe’s top clubs circling, it seems Kane’s stint in North London could be drawing to a natural conclusion.