Gaming

FM Stories: How Kane would fare at each of Spurs’ ‘Big Six’ Premier League rivals

By Steve Jennings

Published: 10:48, 1 April 2020

“It all depends on what happens as a team and how we progress as a team. So it’s not a definite ‘I’m going to stay there forever’ – but it’s not a no either.”

This week, Harry Kane opened the door to a possible Tottenham exit. The England captain’s departure is a scenario that Spurs fans will hope remains in the realms of fantasy, i.e. something that could only happen in, say, the world’s leading football management simulator.

Indeed, Football Manager is a fun testing ground for this kind of thing. How would Kane fare at another of England’s top clubs? Would Liverpool be even further ahead at the top with the 26-year-old leading the line? Would he cap a controversial move to Arsenal by continuing his prolific north London derby record? The questions are endless.

To find some answers, we simmed Kane at each of Tottenham’s ‘Big Six’ rivals. After letting the ruthless marksman complete his final season at Spurs, we gave him three years at Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea to see how he’d cope away from his current digs.

Liverpool

Appearances: 153
Goals: 88
Trophies: None
Individual honours: EPL Player of the Month x2, Champions League Forward of the Season 2020/21.

Liverpool’s vice-captain Kane hit the ground running at Anfield with 29 goals across all competitions in his debut season. Year two was slightly rockier with just 10 leagues goals and 24 overall, but his third season saw him hit the 20-goal mark in the league.

Despite his success in front of goal, Kane brought with him from Tottenham a bout of trophyless bad luck. He is yet to win silverware with Liverpool, who finished Premier League runners-up to Man City in 2021/22 and 2022/23.

In that debut season, he bagged nine goals in 11 Champions League games and was named Forward of the Season in the tournament, but Liverpool crashed out in the quarter-finals. So if Kane did leave Spurs for trophies, it looks like he joined the wrong club.

Man City

Appearances: 147
Goals: 75
Trophies: Premier League 2020/21, Champions League 2020/21, European Super Cup 2021, Carabao Cup 2021/22 (With England: Euro 2020, World Cup 2022).
Individual honours: EPL Player of the Month x1, Champions League Forward of the Season 2020/21 & 2021/22, England’s all-time leading goalscorer.

Kane may have scored fewer goals at Man City, but he finally broke his trophy duck. In fact, he did that in the summer before moving to the Etihad, captaining England to Euro 2020 success. His Three Lions legacy was cemented when he lifted the World Cup two years later on the way to becoming England’s all-time leading goalscorer.

He won the Premier League and the Champions League with City in his debut season and was consequently given the armband, though since then, the club have failed to win either of those competitions again.

The most recent campaign was particularly tough as City watched rivals Man Utd win their first title since Sir Alex Ferguson’s exit a decade prior. In any case, Kane has done what he set out to by leaving Spurs and won some major silverware for club and country.

Man United

Appearances: 149
Goals: 75
Trophies: FA Cup 2020/21 and 2021/22, Premier League 2021/22.
Individual honours: EPL Player of the Month x3, EPL Golden Boot 2020/21, EPL Football of the Year 2020/21 & 2022/23, EPL Players’ Player of the Year 2020/21 & 2022/23.

It seems Manchester is a promising potential second home for Kane, who has enjoyed more major success at United, winning the Premier League and two FA Cups – though success has eluded him on the international stage.

He won the Golden Boot and multiple Player of the Year awards in his debut season at Untied and lifted the Premier League a year later, when he also won the FA Cup for the second campaign in a row.

Sadly for United fans, the Red Devils finished Premier League runners-up to Liverpool in 2022/23, Kane’s first season as captain. Still, he is getting plenty of recognition having been named Footballer of the Year for the second time in three seasons.

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Arsenal

Appearances: 137
Goals: 68
Trophies: Europa League 2022/23.
Individual honours: Ballon d’Or 2020, EPL Player of the Month x3, Europa League Player of the Season 2022/23.

Where to even begin with this one? Remarkably, Kane won the Champions League with Tottenham in 2019/20 before moving down the road to Arsenal. And every season since, the Gunners and Kane have finished below their bitter rivals in the Premier League.

Kane did finally win a trophy with Arsenal, experiencing Europa League success in 2022/23. What’s more, he earned the highest possible personal accolade by winning the Ballon d’Or in 2020, though of course he spent half of that year still at Spurs.

He is Arsenal’s vice-captain and talisman despite failing to score more than 14 goals in a single Premier League season since his controversial transfer. Speaking of, Kane hasn’t scored a single goal in a north London derby since switching lilywhite for red.

Chelsea

Appearances: 154
Goals: 75
Trophies: Premier League 2021/22, Carabao Cup 2021/22, FA Cup 2022/23.
Individual honours: EPL Player of the Month x2, EPL Football of the Year 2022/23, EPL Players’ Player of the Year 2022/23.

Making a slightly less contentious – but still unimaginable – move across London proved fruitful for Kane, who won the Premier League in his second season at Stamford Bridge. He captained the side to the title and the Carabao Cup that year.

Though first-place eluded Chelsea in 2022/23, Kane was named Footballer of the Year and Players’ Player of the Year. All of that said, he has never scored more than 18 goals in a single Premier League campaign for the Blues.

And once again, his club success didn’t seem to do England any good; only at Manchester City did Kane manage to mirror his club exploits with the Three Lions. Nonetheless, he’ll be pleased with his team and individual haul at Chelsea.

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