The Lilywhites appear to have a ready-made replacement for Harry Kane in the youth ranks…
Ange Postecoglou, the new manager of Tottenham Hotspur, has enjoyed an undefeated start to life in the Premier League, which has helped alleviate the loss of the talismanic striker.
The 30-year-old has undoubtedly been the go-to player for the Lilywhites for the past decade or so, and moving past their undeniable reliance on him will be no easy task given his recent £100 million departure to Bayern Munich.
After hankering for a move to rival Manchester City for two years, the England captain eventually got his dream of a well-publicized departure by teaming up with former Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel in Germany. This leave followed a 30-goal season in England’s top division.
Even though it is still early in his tenure at the Allianz Arena, the seasoned striker has adjusted well thus far, with three goals and one assist in just three Bundesliga appearances. This serves as yet another testament to his abilities.
While Postecoglou has found a creative solution for Spurs’ number nine position thanks to Heung-min Son’s hat-trick last time out, the north Londoners may have to look elsewhere to find a suitable Kane replacement given the absence of any senior out-and-out strikers over the summer.
At Tottenham, who will take Kane’s place?
Even though Richarlison, a £60 million acquisition from Everton last year, has only scored one league goal for the club thus far, there may still be some remaining optimism that the erstwhile enigma may live up to expectations and establish himself as the main man in attack at N17.
Alejo Veliz, a summer signing from Argentina who is still a teenager, is yet to be given a chance to perform, so Postecoglou may want to go to the youth system to discover a viable Kane replacement.
One such player who has been mentioned as a potential successor to the Bayern player is 18-year-old Jamie Donley, an England youth international who was born in Northern Ireland and has scored 26 goals in just 40 games at the U18 level for the team.
The bright talent has had a strong start to the new season, scoring once and racking up an impressive haul of six assists in only four outings, despite initially playing more as an attacking midfielder or second striker.
Will Lankshear, a fellow youngster who has also gained attention over the past year or two, might fill Postecoglou’s striking hole if Donley is able to find a new home in a creative position.
Will Lankshear: who is he?
The young sensation joined Hotspur Way from Sheffield United in August 2022, and the Lilywhites paid a reputed cost of approximately £2 million to beat out rival Premier League club Brentford to his signature.
Just a year earlier, Tottenham’s fierce rivals Arsenal had mistakenly let the budding jewel go. Kane, who he could look to replace, had also been foolishly released by the Gunners in his early academy days.
It appears that young Lankshear may make those at the Emirates regret their decision to let him go, much like Spurs’ former talisman did. Sky Sports reporter Lyall Thomas wrote at the time of the young Englishman’s move to N17 that the young man “is widely considered among the best – if not the best – striker for his age group in England.”
The talented goalkeeper, who Thomas described as “highly-rated” on Twitter, quickly adapted to his new environment and made an impact, most notably by scoring a hat-trick against West Ham United at Premier League U18 level last season.
The striker enjoyed a wonderfully prolific start to life at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium at the beginning of 2022–23, scoring four goals in only five games in that tournament. He even earned his non–competitive first-team debut under Antonio Conte back in December.
A knee injury brutally ended any aspirations of him developing on that senior debut, but it already appears as though the £400 per week prospect is prepared to make up for lost time if his early season form is any indication.
What does Will Lankshear’s future hold?
It might not take long for Postecoglou and his staff to start paying attention to Lankshear, who had his contract extended until 2026 back in May, now that he is healthy and on fire. Lankshear has already scored three goals in just four games this season.
The new signing was praised by Spurs expert John Wenham, who said that he looked “like a complete out-and-out finisher” after his “phenomenal” start at the team last season.
The hope is that Lankshear can follow in Kane’s footsteps and make the transition to the next level sooner rather than later. Despite Kane’s playmaking abilities, it is fair to say that the London-born star is also a truly ruthless and potent weapon when it matters most in front of goal, as his 278 Tottenham goals would illustrate.
Wenham claims that the club’s staff was “blown away by his finishing levels and his size,” and that the club’s acquisition of him from the Blades last summer was a “real coup.”
Wenham has also praised Lankshear’s physical prowess, calling him “an absolute unit for his age, massive, powerful,” suggesting that moving up to the first team may not be a particularly difficult transition.
Although Postecoglou’s team can succeed with a more fluid option through the middle like Son, as evidenced by the recent victory over Burnley, having a focal point like Lankshear who can provide a clinical, golden touch in front of goal would simply be a dream.
The summer transfer market is already closed, so if the former Celtic manager hopes to find a replacement for Kane soon, he needs start looking among the youth levels right away.