Would Harry Kane be suited to Manchester City?

Harry Kane would thrive in Man City’s team of creative geniuses but Pep Guardiola may need to reprogram him to turn him into his Sergio Aguero mark II… so would the England captain be the best fit or are Erling Haaland and Lionel Messi better options?

  • Harry Kane is reportedly Manchester City’s chosen successor to Sergio Aguero
  • City will prepare a £90m bid for the England captain during the summer window
  • Kane, 27, certainly offers a proven record of scoring goals for Tottenham 
  • His newly-developed all-round style suits his role in Jose Mourinho’s side
  • Pep Guardiola, however, would likely restore Kane to an out-and-out striker role 

It seems Harry Kane is the chosen successor to Sergio Aguero. If the rumours are to be believed, Manchester City will make an attempt to sign the England captain in the summer.

Whether the reported offer of £90million is anywhere near acceptable for Tottenham to accept remains to be seen but it appears Pep Guardiola favours Kane over other attacking targets when Aguero leaves.

Guardiola has known for some time that City need a succession plan for when club legend Aguero, 32, waves farewell to the Etihad Stadium and the Argentine’s spate of injuries this season has only underlined this.

Harry Kane is Manchester City’s top transfer target for the summer, according to reports 

Pep Guardiola will prioritise a striker in the summer with Sergio Aguero on his way out 

Aguero’s heir apparent Gabriel Jesus has himself suffered injury setbacks but has managed just four goals in 11 outings in what has been a sub-par season for City to date.

It’s left the likes of Ferran Torres and Raheem Sterling picking up the slack and the fact Guardiola wants a new striker confirms that Jesus isn’t seen as the long-term solution.

So is Kane the right man? His goal record certainly stands up to scrutiny – 204 in 310 matches for Spurs now including formidable goal returns of 31, 28, 35, 41, 24, 24 and 16 from the 2014-15 season onwards.

But for the torn hamstring that ruled him out of 14 matches last season that return of 16 would have been significantly higher.

His 32 goals in 48 matches for England adds further weight to the argument that City could swap Aguero for Kane and still get the same return of goals.

Sergio Aguero has been a brilliant servant for City but is likely to leave in the summer

Gabriel Jesus hasn’t conclusively proven that he can fill Aguero’s shoes in the years ahead

Aguero has scored 256 times in 378 matches for City, exceeding the 30-goal mark in five of his nine seasons at the club.

Backed by such geniuses as Sterling, Kevin De Bruyne, Riyad Mahrez and Phil Foden, Kane would absolutely continue scoring at his usual prolific rate.

At 27, he should be entering his prime too and the way he has adapted his style of play of late suggests a player still improving.

With that in mind, the fact Kane hasn’t yet won any silverware at Tottenham must be a big consideration.

Contracted to the White Hart Lane club until 2024 – a fact that makes that optimistic £90m bid surely doomed to fail – Kane must doubt whether the club can match his ambitions to win the highest honours in football.

Jose Mourinho was brought in to deliver Kane and Spurs some long overdue silverware

Kane has evolved into an all-round forward, combining superbly with Son Heung-min 

While Jose Mourinho gives them a decent chance of winning a trophy, it really does need to happen sooner rather than later. If Kane goes to City, he will stand a far better chance of lifting the Premier League and the Champions League.

He would also be able to share the burden of expectation with the likes of Sterling and De Bruyne, becoming less of a talisman on whom everything depends as at Spurs.

But nagging doubts over whether Kane would suit Guardiola’s system and manner of playing remain.

Playing under Mourinho has brought a fresh dimension to Kane’s game. Far from being an out-and-out centre forward, he has evolved into the complete attacker and more of an all-round footballer.

It has been impressive to watch Kane this season dropping deep to cushion a pass before picking out a team-mate in a wide position or coming back into his own half to play balls over the top.

Kane’s scoring record for club and country is exceptional and could well improve at City 

Kane is well shackled by Nelson Semedo during Tottenham’s 1-1 draw at Wolves this week

His understanding with Son Heung-min verges on the telepathic with the pair setting new Premier League records for goal combinations.

Son is actually out-scoring Kane by 13 goals to 11 for Spurs this season, yet Kane has 12 assists to Son’s five and that involvement in 23 goals points to a centre forward more than willing to do everything for the team.

It suits perfectly Mourinho’s style of digging in at the back and hurting teams on the counter.

But, as we know, Guardiola’s City crave constant possession of the ball and relentless pressure. Their way of approaching games is very different and these new attributes Kane has developed may well be lost.

You can’t imagine him being encouraged to drop back too often and tread on the toes of De Bruyne and Foden, nor drift out wide to deliver crosses. It’ll be back to being solely the penalty box predator.

It’s difficult to imagine Kane dropping back to interfere with Kevin De Bruyne’s build-up play

Kane’s England colleague Raheem Sterling would be among those striving to set him up

Mind you, he will get plenty of goals this way purely by natural instincts to get into the right positions and react to the ricocheting ball faster than defenders.

He’ll also do a better job than Jesus, who has become increasingly shot-shy and doesn’t combine plenty of running and industry in and around the box with enough goals.

Kane has left the quick bursts to Son and others at Tottenham and would do the same at City, with Guardiola reprogramming him to concentrate on being in the right place at the right time.

Which begs the question of whether there are better options for City. With Lionel Messi now able to make arrangements with overseas clubs for a Barcelona exit in the summer, rumours of a reunion with Guardiola won’t be too far away.

But for all the romance and Messi’s enduring quality, he would be 34 by the time he pitches up in Manchester and even if City can get him for nothing he doesn’t offer a long-term answer.

Speculation of a reunion between Guardiola and Lionel Messi is unlikely to fade away

The outstanding Erling Haaland could be another striker on City’s radar for the summer 

Besides, he would be playing on the right side of the attack or as a second striker, meaning City would still need a top class centre forward. Messi plus Kane would certainly be a dream combination for a year or two nonetheless.

Then there’s Erling Haaland, linked with both Manchester clubs already and no doubt the rest of Europe in the summer. 17 goals in 14 games for Borussia Dortmund before his recent injury continued an outstanding couple of years.

At 20, Haaland has time on his side and would cost probably a similar amount to Kane. But Kane has the advantage of greater experience and a more proven track record.

But Guardiola enjoys the one-on-one coaching of young players and will feel he can add plenty more to Haaland’s game, which is a truly frightening proposition.

Lautaro Martinez (left) of Inter Milan and Benfica’s Darwin Nunez (right) are alternatives 

Lautaro Martinez, who never did get his move from Inter Milan to Barcelona, and Benfica’s 21-year-old Uruguayan Darwin Nunez could be alternatives if City fail to land their main targets.

Whoever is signed to replace Aguero will have big shoes to fill but Kane undoubtedly has the class required. 

Whether he would be able to adapt from playing under Mourinho to Guardiola’s ways must be the foremost consideration.

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