Appreciating Two-End Talisman for Tottenham Hotspur

BURNLEY, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 26: Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur (Photo by Jason Cairnduff - Pool/Getty Images)
BURNLEY, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 26: Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur (Photo by Jason Cairnduff - Pool/Getty Images) /
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Harry Kane, Tottenham
LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 18 Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur Photo by Neil Hall – Pool/Getty Images) /

Kane’s Defensive Contributions

Kane has been more effective with his pressures this season. Instead of pressing everywhere, Kane is pressing in specific areas closer to midfield where more help is available. The result is Kane is applying a lot of pressure, just not at the opponents 18 all the time. Kane has pressed an opponent 79 times already this season, according to, and been successful 26 times, which produces an almost 33% success rate, the highest of Kane’s career.

Besides the effectiveness of Kane on the press this season, the one other area we particularly see Harry Kane excel is defending in the box. Kane is often the man getting his head on the corners to clear them out or on free kicks to prevent the conversions. The same instincts and anticipation that make Harry Kane one of the best poachers in the world, also helps him produce some terrific defense too.

Further this is an area of the game where Kane is evolving. Again, according to Harry Kane had 18 clearances in 2017-18 and only 13 in 2018-19. However, last season once Mourinho took over, Kane did a bit more defending and had 30 clearances. This season Kane already has eight clearances, including the goal line clearance against Burnley.

That eight clearances gives Harry Kane an average of about .8 clearances per match, which likely means he could end up with something close to 40 clearances on the season. Those numbers pale to the 229 clearances from Toby Alderweireld last season and are below his 18 this season, but still reflect a major defensive contribution.

Ultimately, being good defensively is not that much different than being good offensively, with regard to being in the right place at the right time – anticipation – and then making the right play when you have the chance – skill. Harry Kane is excellent at both anticipating what will happen next and having the skill to perform when called upon.