OPINION: Harry Kane made wise choice over Alan Shearer's goalscoring record

Harry Kane has seemingly given up the chase for Alan Shearer's all-time Premier League scoring record
Harry Kane has seemingly given up the chase for Alan Shearer's all-time Premier League scoring recordAFP
Harry Kane (30) secured his big move to Bayern Munich from Tottenham last week for a fee of over €100 million (£86 million) - with many questioning the timing given the England captain's close proximity to Alan Shearer's all-time Premier League goalscoring record.

Since making the move to Germany, Kane has publicly stated he left his boyhood club in north London in order to "feel the pressure to win titles".

The striker had been angling for a move for some time, with few begrudging his ambition to want to challenge for major silverware - albeit at a Bayern Munich club often starved for any major competition domestically.

Indeed, some sectors of the British press have been a little harsh in their scrutiny of that point, perhaps inadvertently throwing a bit of unwarranted shade on German football and unfairly painting it as lower-quality fodder compared to the Premier League - which isn't really true at all.

Harry Kane made his debut on the same day that he signed for Bayern Munich
Harry Kane made his debut on the same day that he signed for Bayern MunichAFP

The main case in point here is that Kane will win things with Bayern Munich. But importantly, he now sits with a very good chance of lifting major European silverware which would all but certify a move to the Bavarians as a wise choice.

But what of Alan Shearer's fabled all-time Premier League scoring record?

Giving up the chase?

Much has been made of Kane's lingering amidst the Newcastle legend's crowning achievement. Shearer scored 260 Premier League goals during his career, setting the pace that no one has ever really gotten close to since his retirement in 2006.

Near enough everyone - even both men themselves - would have expected Kane to beat that record within a few more seasons in England's top flight.

Indeed, in becoming Tottenham's all-time club record goalscorer last season, Kane notched a grand total of 213 goals in 320 Premier League appearances - the only player to score 30 goals or more in two separate campaigns.

Kane's goal record over the last two years
Kane's goal record over the last two yearsFlashscore

Yet his move away from the country now pours serious doubt onto whether he'll beat Shearer's target, something that left a few commenters scratching their heads as to why he would make such a move, and just where is the trade-off between all-time great status in the Premier League or winning actual trophies with one of the biggest clubs in the history of the game?

Spoiler alert: there isn't much of one and Kane has done what most others would have in his (very unique) situation.

The right move

The reality is, Kane needed to leave to win the silverware his talent and status undeniably deserves. Even at Spurs, at best he might hope for an occasional tilt at a League Cup or FA Cup in the next few years, but the likelihood of them reaching another Champions League final or challenging in the league is pretty much zero.

And sure, he'd reach Shearer's record eventually, but with nothing concrete to really go with it.

Harry Kane poses with his Bayern Munich shirt
Harry Kane poses with his Bayern Munich shirtAFP

Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy was obviously never going to sell to a direct domestic rival like Manchester City or Manchester United - at least not for anything less than utterly ridiculous money - so the move made sense for all parties in the end.

However, there's another factor that is being surprisingly overlooked by most: Erling Haaland's arrival in English football.

Haaland could already be eyeing Kane's goalscoring record
Haaland could already be eyeing Kane's goalscoring recordProfimedia

History hungry Haaland

Haaland is entering his second season but has already broken countless records and scored more goals in a single campaign than any other player in Premier League history.

The Manchester City man has the world at his feet and - barring any catastrophic injuries or a shock decision to leave in the near future - will have his sights set firmly on shattering every record there is in English football.

Excluding Kane's first year where he only made three appearances, he averaged 21.3 goals per season across a ten-year period.

Haaland was comfortably the top scorer in the league last season
Haaland was comfortably the top scorer in the league last seasonOpta by Stats Perform / AFP

Basing it on 36 goals per season, the target he reached last year, Haaland could well reach Shearer's record in a little over seven seasons (7.2 to be exact), meaning at 30 years old he may have comfortably levelled or surpassed the top of the mountain.

Kane will be pushing 38 years old by this time, so if he's returned to England and added to his tally once he's done winning at Bayern, he won't have a lot of time left to improve upon the record if he's made up the final 47 he still needs to match it.

Manchester City striker Erling Haaland poses with the Premier League trophy
Manchester City striker Erling Haaland poses with the Premier League trophyAFP

If we're to go deeper, we can take the goalscoring exploits from both Kane and Haaland's last three seasons to build a more accurate projection for the Norwegian.

In the Bundesliga with Dortmund and last season with City, Haaland netted 85 times in 87 matches, giving him 0.977 goals per match.

During the same time at Spurs, Kane scored 70 in 110 games producing an output of 0.636 goals per game.

Haaland's goals per game projection against Kane and Shearer's records
Haaland's goals per game projection against Kane and Shearer's recordsFlashscore

If Haaland were to play 34 out of 38 games on average per season in the Premier League (factoring in the possibility of injuries, suspensions or simply being rested), it would project Haaland to be besting Shearer's record by the 2029/30 season.

Sky is the limit

It's not unfathomable to think that Haaland could be hitting astronomical figures in the not-too-distant future either - say 40 or 50 league goals in a season.

He hasn't had a terrible record of injuries thus far and for a young man still shows a lot of raw potential that could blossom even further with a bit more time to mature.

He's also still clearly eager to learn as much as he can from current City boss Pep Guardiola, probably the perfect person to maximise his development.

Haaland speaks with Guardiola
Haaland speaks with GuardiolaAFP

Given his bedding in season was so ridiculously fruitful, he could realistically be reaching Dixie Dean levels (i.e. 60 goals in a season) very soon and then simply be attempting to break his own records year after year.

Kane on the other hand has very much suffered from injury setbacks throughout his career - notably with his ankles - and this has curtailed a lot of his goalscoring momentum over the years.

Haaland, Kane and Shearer's Premier League goalscoring
Haaland, Kane and Shearer's Premier League goalscoringFlashscore

While he'll be keen to continue as long as he can, and it seems elite-level footballers these days are capable of continuing at a high level into their late 30s, Kane's injuries may well catch up to him eventually.

His exceptional passing and playmaking ability also add the possibility of him dropping into a deeper midfield role as we often see with forwards as they hit their mid-30s, like Wayne Rooney, Ryan Giggs and Dwight Yorke did so successfully in the past.

This may dry up his opportunities to hit the massive season-scoring heights we're accustomed to in England.

Haaland, Kane and Shearer's goalscoring averages at the age of 23
Haaland, Kane and Shearer's goalscoring averages at the age of 23Flashscore

Haaland may not stay for 10 years, but on the flipside, he's a Manchester City fan directly following in the footsteps of his father and earning a very good living at arguably the most competitive and success-primed club in the world.

Perhaps he'll fancy a new challenge one day at a Real Madrid, a Barcelona, a Bayern Munich - or perhaps he feels he's already where he wants to be for the prime years of his career?

Unspoken lingering doubts

Harry Kane may well have had Erling Haaland sat firmly in the back of his mind when contemplating his exit to new shores.

Sure, he would have undoubtedly hit and surpassed Alan Shearer's record within another two or three seasons - both men accepted this almost as an inevitability.

But what happens when Haaland breaks that record again within four more years. What would have been the point of Kane sticking around at Tottenham?

Kane is set up to win plenty of silverware at Bayern Munich
Kane is set up to win plenty of silverware at Bayern MunichAFP

He's already achieved a decades-long feat of becoming Spurs' all-time top goalscorer - plus he's top of England's list to boot. That's not a bad haul as far as individual historic accolades go.

Ultimately, records are there to be broken. Trophies create a history that can never be taken away.


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