Friday, 19 May 2017

Nine stats that prove Harry Kane has been the best striker in the Premier League this season

Nine stats that prove Harry Kane has been the best striker in the Premier League this season

Harry Kane took the lead in the race for the Premier League golden boot with a tremendous four-goal haul in Tottenham's 6-1 rout of Leicester on Thursday night – but what makes him so effective?

The Spurs man is in pole position to retain the coveted award for a second year, with a two-goal cushion ahead of the final round of Premier League matches. 

But even if one of Kane's rivals does yet come back and overtake his seasonal goal tally, there are plenty more measurements that show how Spurs' No 10 has been the king of the No 9s in 2016-17.

Minutes per goal
Kane has achieved the third-best minutes-per-goal rate (94.3) of any player in the league this season, behind only Michy Batshuayi of Chelsea and Gabriel Jesus of Manchester City.

However, those two strikers' playing time combined doesn't even make up a third of the time that Kane has spent on the pitch this season; the Spurs man has been putting them away consistently, week in and week out, from the beginning of the season.

Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur holds the match ball as he celebrates scoring four goals with Mauricio Pochettino manager of Tottenham Hotspur after the Premier League match between Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur at The King Power Stadium on May 18, 2017 in Leicester, England
Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino knows he can rely on Kane to produce consistently. 
Kane has played 2,452 minutes for Tottenham in 2016-17. The next best-ranked player by to have played for more than 2,000 minutes is Sergio Aguero of Manchester City, who is some way adrift with a rate of 129.6 minutes per goal.

Shots on target
If this Spurs centre-forward is having a shot, he's got a better chance than anyone else of getting it on target.

A whopping 65 per cent of all Kane's shots end up on target; that's a higher rate than any of the other 25 top scorers in the league this season.

He doesn't often miss the target, Kane - but it's not for a lack of shooting.

Shots total
Kane's shots-on-target rate is all the more impressive when you consider that, of those 25 top goal-scorers, only Aguero, Christian Benteke and Gylfi Sigurdsson have fired off more shots than the Spurs forward's 85.

Shots from outside the box
When it comes to shooting from outside the box, Harry Kane has the edge on his rivals.

He shoots on average 1.4 times per game from beyond the limits of the penalty area, more than Alexis Sanchez (1.3), Aguero (1.3), Roberto Firmino (0.9) and Romelu Lukaku (0.8).

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 14: Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur shoots during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United at White Hart Lane on May 14, 2017 in London, England. Tottenham Hotspur are playing their last ever home match at White Hart Lane after their 112 year stay at the stadium. Spurs will play at Wembley Stadium next season with a move to a newly built stadium for the 2018-19 campaign
Harry Kane doesn't mind taking aim from outside the box
This puts a sheen on Kane's goal tally, as well as his shots-on-target rate; he's not playing it safe, going for tap-ins!

Kane isn't just a finisher, a selfish goal hog; only two of the league's 25 top scorers have contributed more assists than his seven – Sanchez (10) and Sigurdsson (13).

Evidently the Premier League's other strikers just don't have the same spare capacity for generosity as Kane. 

Goal involvement
Nobody has been involved in more goals this season than Harry Kane, and only Arsenal's Sanchez can match his tally of 33.

Kane's involvement in goals as a proportion of Spurs' total is 45 per cent – lower than the likes of Sanchez (45 per cent), Lukaku (49 per cent), Sigurdsson (51 per cent) and Jermain Defoe (61 per cent), but those players have carried lesser teams with lesser goals totals.

Tottenham have scored the same number of goals (79) as champions Chelsea, and Kane's involvement rate of 45 per cent is higher than any Chelsea player's. The Blues' biggest contributor is Costa, with 33 per cent.

Chelsea's Diego Costa (left) and Eden Hazard come off the bench during the Emirates FA Cup, Semi Final match at Wembley Stadium, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday April 22, 2017. See PA story SOCCER Chelsea. Photo credit should read: Adam Davy/PA Wire
Neither Diego Costa nor Eden Hazard have contributed to as many goals for champions Chelsea this season as Harry Kane has for Spurs 

Times dispossessed
Kane has only been dispossessed an average of 1.6 times per game this season.

That less than goal-scoring rivals Aguero (2.2), Lukaku (2.4), Josh King (2.5), Sanchez (3.3) and Costa (3.4).

Nobody likes a forward that ruins a flowing move by straying offside. Spurs players have comparatively little to fear in that regard when it comes to Harry Kane.

His tally of 17 offsides is less than a whole host of his Premier League peers, including Aguero (23), Costa (26),  Sanchez (27), Lukaku (35), Benteke (35) and Zlatan Ibrahimovic (37).

Kane knows where the line is better than most strikers 
Clearly Kane doesn't need to gamble as hard on the shoulder of the last man in order to be effective. Intelligent play.

Disciplinary record
Three yellow cards and no reds – that's Harry Kane's disciplinary record for 2016-17.

It means he hasn't missed a single game through suspension, unlike rivals Firmino (5), Sanchez (6), Costa (9) and Benteke (10).

In a league where you pick up a one-match ban for five yellow cards, keeping your tally of cautions low is key. You can't score if you're not on the pitch.

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