Kane aims to reach century next

LONDON • Tottenham's Golden Boot winner Harry Kane had not even finished this season when he already set his next target - reaching 100 league goals by the end of next season.

Kane racked up a second hat-trick of the week away to Hull in Spurs' 7-1 romp on Sunday, adding to his four goals at Leicester four days earlier to take the Londoner to 78 league goals.

He has already joined Alan Shearer, Thierry Henry and Robin van Persie as the only players to win the Golden Boot outright for two successive seasons since the Premier League began.

It was the third year in a row that Kane had passed 20 league goals, adding 29 to totals of 25 and 21 in previous campaigns but at a much better rate.

Two ankle injuries this season left him unavailable for a total of almost 11 weeks. The 23-year-old was in such devastating form last week that he might even have fancied reaching 30 for the first time but manager Mauricio Pochettino substituted the striker with 11 minutes to play, saying he looked tired.

"We kept him safe and healthy and ready," the manager said. "He can do that (score 30). His will to improve and learn is the most important thing in a player. He's one of the best strikers in the world."

Kane, aware that he has an important England game to come on June 10 away to Scotland in the World Cup qualifiers, did not appear to resent his early departure.

"It's massive to win the Golden Boot again," he said. "I said to retain it would be special with the injuries I've had but to score 29 goals in 30 games is something I feel proud of. Finishing the season with seven in two games is perfect."

Former Tottenham manager David Pleat, now working as a BBC pundit, said Kane was a good ambassador who had demonstrated that he was a team player.

"I was worried he would become selfish looking for this Golden Boot but he hasn't," Pleat said.

Two late goals while Kane was off the pitch even enabled Spurs to pip champions and London neighbours Chelsea as the season's top scorers by 86 goals to 85.

The challenge for Tottenham next season is to prove they can be as effective in a new temporary home at Wembley as they have been at White Hart Lane.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 23, 2017, with the headline 'Kane aims to reach century next'. Print Edition | Subscribe