“It’s a lot of goals and I’m still a long way off.” Harry Kane told Sky Sports in 2016 when asked about the all-time Premier League goal-scoring record that belongs to Newcastle United and England legend Alan Shearer.
“But Shearer was an idol of mine growing up. I don’t like looking too far ahead because you never know what can happen. But is it good to aim for? Definitely. They’re the goals you dream of.”
Even after his last-gasp, point-earning penalty away to Liverpool last weekend took his Premier League goals tally to 100, Kane is still a way off reaching Shearer’s incredible return of 262. But, now widely regarded as one of the very best centre-forwards in world football, few would bet against the Tottenham Hotspur striker eventually leapfrogging the ex-Southamton and Blackburn Rovers hitman.
It took him two bites at the cherry, missing a spot kick earlier in the game, and the second penalty award was no less controversial than the first. But Kane’s conversion at Anfield capped a dramatic encounter and booked the Spurs star’s entry into the Premier League 100 club.
What’s more, Kane, the 26th player in Premier League history to reach the three-figure mark, got there faster than everyone except Shearer. The 24-year-old’s century came in just 141 games – which includes a short, scoreless loan spell with Norwich City during the 2012/13 campaign.
While Shearer reached the 100-goals mark in 17 fewer appearances, Kane’s feat tops the achievements of Sergio Agüero (147 games), Thierry Henry (160) and Ian Wright (173).
Although Shearer beat Kane in the race to 100, the Spurs man is scoring at a faster rate (0.71 goals per game) than Shearer was able to maintain through his Premier League career (0.59 goals per game).
While, as Kane admitted, there is plenty of football standing between he and Shearer’s record, if he is able to continue to score at his current rate and remain relatively injury free, he will be within striking distance of the 260-goal figure in around six-and-a-half seasons.
He could, however, match Shearer in one measure much sooner: the ex-Newcastle striker was a Premier League Golden Boot winner three times; Kane is on course to match that haul at the end of this season, currently leading the scoring charts on 22 goals, one ahead of Liverpool hotshot Mohamed Salah.
If Kane is able to hold off the threat of Salah and finish the campaign as top scorer for the third season in a row, he will then be within touching distance of another Premier League record, this one owned by Arsenal hero Thierry Henry, who has won the division’s Golden Boot more times (four) than any other player.
The Stats Behind the Century
Kane’s 100 goals have come from a total of 559 shots, giving him an impressive overall conversion rate of 17.89 per cent. Breaking it down by season, the 2016/17 campaign saw the Spurs No.10 at his most clinical, scoring with 26.36 per cent of his shots, while this term he is averaging his lowest conversion rate since becoming a regular starter with 15.07 per cent.
One of Kane’s great strengths is his ability to score a wide range of goals; he has the poaching instincts of a master fox in the box, while also being capable of the spectacular; both a great goal-scorer and a scorer of great goals.
Of Kane’s 100 Premier League strikes, 20 were scored from inside the six-yard box, 12 have been rattled in from outside the penalty area and a whopping 68 have come from between the six- and 18-yard lines.
As well as spreading his goals across all distances, Kane has also proven technically versatile, able to pepper the target powerfully and accurately with either foot or head. His favoured right foot is, of course, his deadliest weapon, accounting for 60 of his top-flight goals to date, but a return of 26 from his weaker side shows that his left foot is for more than just standing on; the remaining 14 goals were scored via headers.
Only 12 of Kane’s 100 goals have come from the penalty spot. By contrast, Shearer netted 56 Premier League penalties in his career – more than any other player in the league’s history – which accounts for 21.54 per cent of his total.
After finally fighting off the one, two and even three-season wonder tags, there are no longer any doubts over Kane’s long-term prospects; the records are in sight and he is more than capable of breaking them. Spurs just need to ward off interest from Real Madrid in the meantime.