There is a theory doing the rounds that, had our strikeforce been able to hit a barn door last season, that we may have sneaked into the Champions League places for the second year running. It’s one that I have to agree with – after all, what’s the point of having Bale tearing down the left flank and Lennon on the right, whipping in cross after cross if there’s no one there to finish the job?
Sure, everyone wants to see someone brought in that can hold the line by himself (backed up by vdV), but if that ‘marquee signing’ that Harry promised us (about a year ago) doesn’t come off then maybe a solution to our problems is right under our nose.
It would be pretty difficult to create an argument that our academy has done well in the past ten or fifteen years. If you were to exclude players bought in from other academies (e.g. Huddlestone from Derby or Lennon from Leeds), the only player from our youth system that has actually made a sustained impact is Ledley. I guess Jamie O’Hara made the grade to some extent but his transfer to Wolves proved that he wasn’t quite up to standard.
It seems like an annual event that we hear of promising youth players being released despite impressive form for the youth sides (Pekhart, anyone?). However, it appears that Harry Kane could be a surprise package. Despite still being in his late teens, he had a good spell on loan at Orient last season and always seems to get himself on the scoresheet.
Obviously, it would be crazy to suggest that he should become our first choice striker for the coming season but surely the kid deserves a chance (maybe in the early Europa League games) at some point, particularly if our current attackers don’t improve anytime soon. What’s the worst that could happen? We put him in, give him a go and if it doesn’t work out then we try someone else. On the other hand, we could put him in the side, he bangs a few in and, hey presto, we’ve got our new frontman.
After all, we were forced into giving Bale a decent run in the team as a result of injuries and he’s become one of the hottest properties in world football. I’m in no way suggesting that Kane might have the same impact, but if you don’t give the youngsters a chance we will never know. I think it might be time to give the youth a chance.
Dan Perry (@dantperry on Twitter)
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