Harry Kane's rise through the ranks
Take a look at the top Premier League goalscorers for this season and you will see, in order: Sergio Aguero, on 20 goals. Harry Kane, on 20 goals. Diego Costa, trailing with 19 goals.
Aguero has had a formidable reputation for some time now, and his position on top of that list will surprise no one. The two remaining Premier League newcomers, however, have more in common than you might think.
Rewind to the start of last season. Diego Costa had up until 2012/13 been a stray dog in La Liga, wandering between clubs in the lower leagues and struggling to hit a consistent run of form. The following season was a revelation. In 2013/14 the young Brazilian catapulted Atletico to their first Champions League final since 1996, breaking the Real Madrid / Barcelona league duoply in the process with a shock title win.
Harry Kane’s story reads very similarly. He struggled through his early years of professional football, moving in and out of the Tottenham team on loan spells, featuring only in Europa League games until 2012/13 when he made his Premier League debut, coming on as a substitute against Newcastle. Immediately after he was loaned to Norwich, where he suffered an unfortunate injury in his second game. Just as he was rehabilitated he was recalled by Spurs, only to be sent straight back out to Leicester.
Again, his impact was not groundbreaking: 13 appearances, 2 goals. It was on his return to Tottenham, in 2014/15, that Kane would make his mark.
He began well, flourishing in the low-key environments of the Europa League and Capital One Cup, scoring freely until his first Premier League goal in 6 starts came against Aston Villa. Little over 2 months later Kane would propel himself from local hero to national star with a career defining performance against Chelsea.
Prior to the Chelsea performance Kane had enjoyed a good reputation as a natural goalscorer but there was always doubts about whether he could replicate it against the best teams. Scoring twice against a Mourinho team was unprecedented. Throughout both his terms at Chelsea, Mourinho had never conceded more than 3 goals in a game. Spurs scored five, and Kane was instrumental to the win. He had arrived on the national stage.
With national praise came an international debut, and the result was written in the stars. The so-called HurriKane scored his first goal in an England shirt just 79 seconds after he was subbed on. English media suitably exploded: he was the messiah, the second coming of Gary Lineker, the savior of British football and everything in between. The last time England had played – against Scotland, in November 2014 - Kane had only scored four Premier League goals in his entire career, known only to Spurs fans and the English football hardcore. A few short months later, he was a household name.