Two of the Premier League’s most lethal marksmen face off in game five of this new Premier League campaign after enduring contrasting starts to the season in front of goal
Romelu Lukaku and Harry Kane are arguably the top two striker’s in the Premier League, but only one has displayed the talent we know they are both capable of in the opening exchanges of the new season.
While Lukaku has bagged three goals in three league games thus far, Kane is still waiting for his first domestic strike – his only goals of the campaign coming in the newly formed Europa Conference League.
The respective summer stories of both players told a contrasting tale – Lukaku earning the mega-money move of his dreams back to the club he first joined as a teenager in 2011, while Kane was forced to stay at Tottenham despite it becoming common knowledge the England captain had his heart set on a move to Premier League champions Manchester City.
As a result, the pair face off on Sunday evening as Nuno Espirito Santo’s Spurs welcome Thomas Tuchel’sChelsea to the Tottenham Hotspur stadium for a clash that sees the host aim to end Chelsea’s unbeaten start to the season.
The last time the pair met in north London, the Blues came away victorious courtesy of a Jorginho penalty, last summer’s marquee signing Timo Werner spurning a number of chances for the visitors.
Fast forward a season and Tuchel’s side return armed with Lukaku, his presence alone a stern enough warning for Tottenham to know those chances will not be wasted second time around.
Ahead of the fixture, Tuchel spoke highly of both players, explaining: “There is one big one [similarity] they score decisive goals.
“They always score no matter which competition so that is the similarity, apart from this they are very different players, very different style of play, we need to focus if Harry Kane plays on how to defend and where to close him down.”
Lukaku’s last league outing saw him bag a brace against Aston Villa, scoring his first ever goal at Stamford Bridge in the process, which perhaps is a testament to how poorly his first stint in the club went.
Following the win against Dean Smith’s side, Lukaku explained how his Serie A experience over the course of the last two seasons has helped him in his return to England: “Yeah it was good, childhood dream for me, very happy to be in this situation I’m in but the hard work continues.
“Playing in Italy, I was playing in a league where I would get one chance a game or two chances a game and I had to take them. I think with experience, hard work and teammates understanding me, I’m very happy with the situation I’m in.”
Spurs boss Santo was pressed on whether he would swap Kane for the Belgian international earlier this week, to which he responded: “I don’t even consider that option – it’s something I don’t think about.
“Harry is an amazing player. His quality and talent have impressed me.”
Rather tellingly, Santo did concede: “Harry has to improve. We are in that process of trying to find the best levels of fitness. But his dedication has been huge.”
While Kane’s talent is undeniable, his slow start to the season has led many to speculate over whether the England’s skipper career is entering it’s twilight, persistent ankle injuries have sparked debate over whether a player of his age was worth the kind of money Spurs were demanding from Pep Guardiola’s side in the summer.
The ultimate difference between the pair may come down to responsibility – behind Lukaku, there is a lengthy list of world class talent on hand to assist him at any given opportunity, while Kane is very much burdened with the full weight of Tottenham’s attack – put simply, if Kane looks off the pace – so do Spurs.