A full international? Playing in the Champions League? Can he do it on a cold and windy Wednesday at Stoke? The term "world class" gets thrown around a lot, but what does it actually mean to be world class and why are some so reluctant to give Harry Kane that label?
In recent weeks, there has been much debate surrounding whether or not Tottenham and England striker Harry Kane can truly be considered world class. Despite out scoring virtually everyone in 2017, for many Kane is still a flash in the pan, and not worthy of being talked about in the same breath as those players who are undoubtedly considered to be in the top echelon of world football stars. But why?
World Class should be defined as someone who would start for pretty much any team in the world, club or international (putting aside International restrictions for a moment). Messi, Ronaldo, Neymar, Bale (when fit), Modric, Kroos, Iniesta, Pique, Ramos, Aguero, Hazard, De Bruyne, Busquets, Marcelo, Lewandowski, Neuer, De Gea-- all of these players would walk into virtually any starting 11. Despite playing all different types of positions and roles they all have a few things in common: technical ability, brilliant football brains, and the ability to turn a match with a moment of magic-- a defense splitting pass, an impudent finish, or cat like reflexes that stop a certain goal.
When you look at it that way, it is easy to put Kane in that category, as he absolutely possess all of those qualities. Would he challenge Benzema for a starting spot at Real Madrid? Without a doubt. Cavani at PSG? Surely. Suarez at Barcelona or Lewandowski at Bayern? On current form, it would be hard to bet against him.
Maybe it's his Englishness and continental snobbery that's working against Kane. After all, the majority of the list of world class stars above play for the big 3 (Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich). He also admittedly hasn't been fully tested season after season in the Champions League (though 5 goals in his first 2 matches this season has been a great start), and is yet to do it on the biggest of stages for England. But credit, where credit is due. Kane by all accounts, is a workaholic, and every time he is written off, he comes back stronger, fitter, faster, and more determined. Spurs will do well to hold on to him if they continue to go trophyless over the next couple of years, as it will surely only be a matter of time before the big 3 come calling. Maybe then Kane will finally get the credit he deserves.