One of Manchester United’s reported summer targets will come face to face with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side this weekend.
United travel to Tottenham in the Premier League on Sunday with plenty on the line for both teams as the Reds look to solidify their grip on second whilst the hosts will be aiming to close the gap on the top four.
Beyond the points that will be on the line in Sunday’s clash, the fixture also provides United’s staff with another opportunity to take a closer look at transfer target Harry Kane who will be leading the line for the North London side.
United have made it known that they are admirers of the England captain and we also know that they’re in the market for a new striker ahead of next season.
Tottenham will of course be reluctant to let the 27-year-old leave, especially given he still has three years left on his current deal. Yet they might be powerless to stop him if he himself looks to push through a move to Old Trafford in the summer.
Kane is one of the club’s top targets alongside the formidable Dortmund striker Erling Haaland, yet it’s not clear at this stage who is the prime candidate of the two.
Across recent seasons in the Premier League, Kane’s goalscoring has almost been unrivalled by any other player – he’s netted a remarkable 162 Premier League goals in just six and a bit seasons.
Yet he’s pulled another rabbit out of the hat this season by adapting from a predominantly out-and-out goalscorer to also a creator for team-mates around him.
He’s done this by no longer focusing solely on finishing moves but also now looking to drop into deeper zones of the pitch, picking up the ball and then acting like his team’s advanced playmaker.
In the intermediate, this will be something United will have to watch out for on Sunday. Yet when it comes to looking at him from a transfer point of view, is this what United would consider a desirable trait?
Currently at the club, it’s Bruno Fernandes who occupies those Kane-like territories inside the opposition’s half, linking with up with forwards and being the team’s chief creative spark. His record in terms of goals and assists highlights how he’s fulfilled that role expertly since arriving at Old Trafford in January 2020.
Kane attempting to implement his current style from Spurs at United could have the potential to disrupt Fernandes’ natural game, meaning he’d most likely be used by Solskjaer more as a traditional advanced centre forward.
However, if this is the case, then there’s a greater case to be made that Haaland would be the better-suited target.
He’s younger, has a better physical profile and is in scintillating form in front of goal having netted 33 times across all competitions so far. This is four more than Kane who does take the bulk of Spurs’ penalties, unlike Haaland at Dortmund.
Sunday then will probably go some way to helping United decide whether it’ll be Kane or Haaland who they invest their time in most over this summer.
If the Spurs forward plays well and demonstrates a lot of the exquisite centre forward play that he’s shown in years gone by, then that might be enough to lure United in.
However, if they feel like the most modern version of the England captain is better suited to playing a more hybrid creative role, then perhaps they’ll be persuaded to chase the more traditional No.9 profile of Haaland.