Harry Kane’s career could have taken a very different path if former Tottenham manager Tim Sherwood had not persuaded the club’s hierarchy not to sell the striker to Leicester City. Sherwood, who handed Kane his full Tottenham league debut in 2014, revealed that he had to convince Spurs chairman Daniel Levy not to sell their academy graduate just before his Premier League debut. Kane has since become the club’s all-time top scorer with 271 goals in 425 appearances and has been England’s captain since 2018.
Sherwood explained that he saw a boy with a lot of ability and a mental capacity that was second to none. He added that Kane had a drive to want to improve and earn the opportunity to play in the first team. On his watch, Kane earned that over a period of a couple of weeks, and Sherwood knew there was no way he could leave him out anymore. He told Kane he was going to play, and the rest is history.
When asked whether Levy was keen on Sherwood’s plan to start a 20-year-old over experienced strikers Jermaine Defoe and Emmanuel Adebayor, Sherwood said that it was driven by Franco Baldini, who was the sporting director at the time. Sherwood remembered telling Harry he was going to play, and Baldini asked him to come see Levy with him. They sat down, and Daniel asked Sherwood what the team was on Saturday. As soon as Sherwood got to Kane, he was asked why certain, more experienced players weren’t ahead of him, and Sherwood said he’d earned the right.
Sherwood revealed that it was a tough conversation because Daniel genuinely trusted his judgement on players, but he was obviously getting told by someone else that this player possibly wasn’t good enough for the Premier League. Tottenham wanted players good enough for the Premier League and the Champions League. It was obviously Franco Baldini getting in his ear and telling him Kane wasn’t good enough.
They had a bid lined up from Leicester to sell him for £600k which Sherwood resisted. There was no way he was letting the boy go for that. He’d have eaten £600k worth of food since joining the club at ten years old. When quizzed on whether Levy was keen on selling Kane on, Sherwood said he didn’t know if he was prepared, but he and Baldini put it to him that this is what was on the table.
In the end, Daniel had to trust someone, and the trust came from Harry getting in the team and subsequently scoring three in three games. Sherwood thinks Levy realised either the price tag has got to go up or maybe this kid is good enough for the first team, and that was the case eventually.
Tottenham also managed to keep hold of Kane in 2021 when the striker was heavily linked with Manchester City. However, his future now remains uncertain again with his contract expiring next summer. With no major trophies to his name and the prospect of potentially no Champions League football next campaign, Kane could finally be heading for his first permanent move away from north London.
Sherwood believes Kane faces a tricky decision regarding his future at Spurs. He wouldn’t like to make a decision for him because Harry knows what he wants and knows himself. If he asked for Sherwood’s advice, he’d tell him he needs to do what’s in his heart. If you cut him in half, he’d bleed white.
After weighing up whether staying at Tottenham was a risk with him turning 30 this year and titles looking unlikely thanks to the chaos off the pitch at the club, Goldstein then pressed Sherwood on whether he thinks Kane should stay. After a long pause, he eventually replied: “Yes.”