Harry Kane: Where does England captain rank among Premier League forwards?

The Premier League has lost one of its greatest goalscorers following Harry Kane's move from Tottenham to Bayern Munich in a deal worth more than 110m euros (£95m).
Kane is off to Germany (Image- Fabrizio Romano)
Kane is off to Germany (Image- Fabrizio Romano)

From Harry Kane's tap-in against Sunderland in April 2014 to the double he scored at Leeds on the final day of last season, the prolific forward has netted 213 goals in 320 English top-flight appearances.

These have brought him three Golden Boots and leave the 30-year-old second in the list of all-time Premier League scorers behind Alan Shearer, who has 260.

With the curtains on his time in England's top-flight drawn (for now), BBC Sport looks back at Kane's impressive stats over the past 11 seasons to see where the England captain sits among the very best forwards to grace the division.

Harry Kane has fewer goals than Shearer but at a much faster rate:

Harry Kane is one of 34 players to have scored 100 or more Premier League goals, but one of only three to have netted over 200, with this latter trio having all captained England.

The current Three Lions skipper trails former Blackburn and Newcastle striker Shearer on the all-time scorers list, but sits five goals ahead of Wayne Rooney, who netted 208 times during a career with Everton and Manchester United.

Kane leads the way, though, for players to have scored the most goals for a single club, topping the list ahead of Sergio Aguero (184 goals for Manchester City) and Rooney, who scored 183 of his haul for Manchester United.

Where Kane truly stands out is in the speed by which he has amassed his top-flight goals tally, with his ratio of 0.67 per game matched only by Aguero and fractionally bettered by Thierry Henry (who scored his 175 Arsenal goals at 0.68 per game).

Shearer, though, has the best record at a single club with his 112 goals in 138 Blackburn games coming at a rate of 0.81.

If he had remained in the Premier League, stayed fit and continued scoring at this rate, Kane would have surpassed Shearer as the league's record scorer in about 70 games, so possibly towards the end of 2024-25.

Henry is the only player with more Premier League Golden Boots to his name than Kane, with the French forward finishing top scorer in the English top flight four times during his Gunners career (2001-02, 2003-04, 2004-05 and 2005-06).

Harry Kane is one of three players to have claimed the honour three times (2015-16, 2016-17 and 2020-21), along with Shearer (1994-95, 1995-96 and 1996-97) and Mohamed Salah (for Liverpool in 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2021-22).

Only the ex-Tottenham man and Shearer have scored 30+ goals in a Premier League season on multiple occasions, with Kane doing it twice and the now BBC pundit achieving it three times.

Kane, though, has the honour of netting the most goals in a calendar year courtesy of the 39 he bagged in 2017.

Kane's final competitive Tottenham goal came at Leeds on the final day of the 2022-23 season (Image- BBC)

Of course, Kane may be second in the Premier League scorers list, but he is much further down the list of all-time highest goalscorers in England's top flight.

The England captain sits 19th, below the likes of Tony Cottee (who has one more with 214), Ian Rush (232), Nat Lofthouse (255) and Dixie Dean (310). Way out in front is Jimmy Greaves, who netted a remarkable 357 goals for Chelsea, Tottenham and West Ham.

However, Kane's scoring ratio is similar to Greaves, who netted his at 0.69 per game. Of the top 50 goalscorers, Everton's Dean is out in front in this regard with a superb 0.86, having scored his 310 in just 362 games.

Greaves also leads the way for the number of seasons in which a player has top-scored in the top flight. He managed the feat six times.

Unmatched as goalscorer and provider:

Harry Kane has always had the ability to pick a pass, but in recent seasons he has added elite-level goal assistance to his goalscoring prowess.

In the past three Premier League campaigns he has provided 26 assists, leaving him sixth on a list of goal providers in that period that is led by Manchester City's Kevin de Bruyne (with 44).

Combined with those he has scored since the start of 2020-21, it gives Kane a goals contribution tally of 102 – more than any other player, with Salah the only man close to him on 99.

If we extend the period back to the date of Kane's Premier League debut – a five-minute substitute appearance against Newcastle on the opening day of the 2012-13 season – he is way out in front on goal contributions with 259 – a testament not only to his talent but his consistency and longevity.

To underline his dual attacking threat, he is one of only two players to be outright top scorer and top assister in a single season (23 goals and 14 assists in 2020-21), after Andy Cole for Newcastle in 1993-94 (34 goals and 13 assists in 1993-94).

He also holds the joint record for most assists for one player, with his 24 for Son Heung-min matching the tally Frank Lampard provided for Didier Drogba during their time at Chelsea.

What Spurs are losing:

It is clear Kane's departure for a fresh challenge in the Bundesliga gives Tottenham a gigantic hole to fill up front.

They have lost their record goalscorer (280 goals in all competitions), their chief attacking weapon and talisman.

Since his debut, Kane has scored more than double the number of goals of the next-best Spurs player (Son Heung-min with 103).

Since the start of the 2012-13 season, Tottenham have scored 647 Premier League goals. Kane has scored 32.92% of them. And that includes having spent much of his first season on loan at Norwich, where he played three games in an injury-hit campaign.

In 304 games with the forward, Spurs have a 54.9% win rate. This drops to 44.4% for the 36 matches they have been without him.

Tottenham with and without Harry Kane:
1.9/1.1Avg. goals for/against1.3/1
54.9Win %44.4
1.8Points per game1.6

While Spurs will undoubtedly miss him, other clubs will be very pleased to see the back of a man who has tormented the league for the last decade.

Harry Kane has the honour of being the only player in Premier League history to have a 100% record of scoring against every team he has faced in the division (of those to have played against at least two teams).

He revelled in London derbies, scoring 56 times, and in north London derbies with Arsenal especially, scoring 14 times against the Gunners – both Premier League records.

He also had a particular hold over Leicester, against whom he netted 18 times – the most goals by a player in a specific fixture.

In search of an elusive trophy

The appeal of Bayern to Harry Kane is clear. Here is a club that wins major trophies at a remarkable rate (18 in the past 11 seasons, including a league title in each of those campaigns) buying a player that has yet to claim a single significant winner's medal in his career.

The closest the forward has come to silverware is two runners-up appearances in the League Cup final (2014-15 and 2020-21) and losing to Liverpool in the final of the 2018-19 Champions League. Spurs also finished second in the 2016-17 Premier League, having pushed winners Leicester close the year before.

Of the 34 players to have scored 100 or more Premier League goals, Kane is one of only three to have never won a major trophy, the others being his former Spurs team-mate Son and ex-Southampton forward Matt le Tissier.

Shearer's decision to join hometown club Newcastle over Manchester United in 1996 is well documented, with the latter going on to win nine major trophies to the former's zero in the following 10 years that the forward played.

In that time, Shearer scored 206 goals in all competitions for the club to reach two major finals and secure an average league position of 8.3.

Over the past decade in which he has been scoring for Tottenham, Kane's 280 goals have helped them reach three major finals and secure an average league position of 4.8. Good, but not good enough for a man who wants medals to go with his personal milestones.

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