Paper Round: Harry Kane ponders foreign move as Gareth Southgate awards England captaincy
It's a Harry Kane-fest in Thursday's papers as the Spurs star and England captain refuses to rule out a future move abroad.
Kane ponders foreign move
The headline “Harry Spain” was apparently so irresistible that two of Thursday’s back pages ran it after Spurs ace Harry Kane admitted he wouldn’t rule out a future move abroad. The rumour mill went into overdrive after Kane responded to such questions with: “I would never say no or yes…It’s not something I definitely want to do, but you never rule something out.”
Perhaps the second biggest Harry Kane story on Thursday’s back pages, and even more reason for bosses at White Hart Lane to feel edgy, was the 24-year-old’s apparent willingness to make drastic changes for his game. Kane revealed that he’d been taking an experimental approach to his diet by getting “hooked” on fish. Having hired a personal chef to help him make “little gains” Kane said: “I’m not a big fish fan but he’s got me eating fish. A few spices on that help.”
Paper Round’s view: Harry Kane seems to be pretty much the only person worth mentioning in Thursday’s sports stories. Be it his captaincy of the England team as they head into their World Cup qualifier against Slovenia, the possibility of a move abroad, or even his newfound dietary preferences. There’s a reason for all this hype, of course – he’s a great player and full of promise for even greater things, and it would not be at all surprising if he were snapped up by a bigger team than Spurs, especially if they manage another trophy-less season.
But hyperbole is a dangerous game to play, as many a previous England player has found out – just ask Raheem Sterling, once a great hope for the national squad, now fighting for his place after performances that have looked weak, nervous and far below par compared to his league games. It’s an enormous amount of pressure to put on Kane, still a relatively young player himself.
Southgate’s £250k bonus
In another story sure to warm the cockles/get everyone’s backs up ahead of Thursday’s England match, The Times reveal that manager Gareth Southgate will be awarded a £250k bonus on top of his £3m salary if England win and secure their place in the 2018 World Cup.
Paper Round’s view: It’s alright tax payer, you can calm down - this one isn’t on you. It’s not uncommon for football players and managers to earn financial rewards for good performance. But you might reasonably argue qualification for a World Cup ought to be on the “necessary” rather than “desirable” objectives for any prospective England manager. It’s not a conundrum we’re likely to solve any time soon, but what on earth would he get if England won the whole thing?
Spurs battle with Chelsea over Barkley
The Mirror reports (again) on Thursday that Chelsea and Spurs will do battle over estranged Everton midfielder Ross Barkley. The 23-year-old has been looking for a move away from The Toffees for a while with both London clubs previously in the frame. The newspaper claims a move to Spurs will be even more attractive to Barkley going into a World Cup year, given head coach Mauricio Pochettino’s track record for developing England players.
Ross Barkley hopes to make the ENgland squad for next year's World CupGetty Images
Paper Round’s view: We’ll assume this “battle” follows a period of quiet self-reflection by Barkley, who’s concluded perhaps a salary of £150k per week (his rumoured self-valuation back in the summer months) was a little steep, after all. Now in the final year of his contract, a (cheap) January move seems distinctly possible.