Yet another one of Euro 2020’s shining stars, Harry Kane certainly must see Euro 2020 as an opportunity to showcase his talents in a squad that sees him as the focal point of attack.
Born in London, England, in 1993, Kane had a footballing trajectory that was in ways unlike other major competitors on the international stage. Playing for his local club, the Ridgeway Rovers, for much of his early life, he joined the Arsenal Academy at the age of 8, where he was quickly dropped on account of his ‘lack of athleticism’ and chubby physique. He was then turned down by the Tottenham academy and had to return to the Rovers. Eventually given a trial for Watford in 2004, he impressed the Spurs staff enough for them to re-extend an offer to the club. Not skyrocketing to fame and success at a rate akin to some of his current peers, Kane worked his way up through the club’s younger squads, breaching the first-team squad at the age of 16 in 2009 despite being loaned out to multiple other English sides in the following years. In 2012, he was awarded the Millwall Player of the Year award for his English Championship team. He also joined the England U-17 team in 2010, though he was also eligible for Northern Ireland’s squad.
Finally returning to the Tottenham first team for good in 2013, the arrival of new manager Mauricio Pochettino ushered in a new era for the team. Taking a gamble on the high potential of Kane, he was implemented into the starting XI and quickly demonstrated how he had improved since being written off as the chubby London boy. With a starting debut a crushing 5-1 victory over Hull City, Kane helped propel the Spurs to an impressive 2014-2015 campaign, helping the team qualify for the Europa League, leading the Premier League in scoring, winning January Player of the Month and eventually 2015 Premier League Young Player of the Year. Changing his number from 18 to 10 to ‘become a club legend,’ he won the Premier League Golden Boot in the 2015-16 season, propelling them to Champions League qualification. In recent years, Tottenham have surely improved, becoming tantalizingly close to major hardware yet still failing to bring home a major trophy.
In 2015, Kane was called up to the English senior team for the first time, scoring his first goal 80 seconds after being subbed in for Wayne Rooney against Lithuania. Quickly advancing in this squad, he helped England qualify for Euro 2016 and was a captain by 2017. Leading the squad in England’s 1000th match against Montenegro, he set the Three Lions up for qualification as well as success in the 2020 Euro, though he suffered a brutal hamstring injury on New Year’s Day 2020. Perhaps in a way one of the sole beneficiaries of this delay, Kane will surely be match fit barring any other injuries come time to play again. Having reached perhaps the prime of his career at the ripe age of 26, Kane’s performance in Euro 2020 will help establish the new era of English football that will hopefully bring a few trophies their way.