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If you’re about to ditch Harry Kane from your fantasy football team, you may want to reconsider.
Much has been made of the fact the Tottenham forward has never scored a Premier League goal during the month of August, and that run continued in the defeat by Chelsea – even the Wembley woodwork denying him.
But stats from Opta, published by Oulala.com, show that taking Kane out could be a big mistake.
Kane’s underlying stats are promising – despite his lack of goals
Of the 184 players to have registered at least one shot in the Premier League this season, Kane’s rankings are mind-blowing.
The Spurs striker has had a total of 14 attempts at goal, five more than his nearest challenger, Arsenal’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (nine).
Ten of Kane’s 14 shots have come from inside the penalty area, three more than Manchester United’s former Chelsea forward Romelu Lukaku (seven) who sits second.
Nine of the 14 have come from open play, again the league’s best, topping Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford and Southampton’s Nathan Redmond (both nine), while five have come as a result of set-pieces, one more than Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey and Southampton’s Maya Yoshida (both four).
Alongside Southampton’s Manolo Gabbiadini, Kane has hit the woodwork the most times (twice). Five of his shots have been blocked, only matched by Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne.
Although only four of his shots have been on target, an accuracy of just 28.6 per cent, only Liverpool’s Sadio Mane has managed more (five). However Kane also ranks second for shots off target (five), and only Gabbiadini has registered more (six).
For Kane – read Ibrahimovic?
An example used recently to suggest that Kane’s goalless streak may continue is Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s six-match drought at the beginning of last season.
After scoring four goals in Manchester United’s first four games, the Swede failed to find the back of the net in their next half-dozen, registering 35 shots without scoring.
On the surface, it appears a valid comparison. But Kane and Ibrahimovic’s shot accuracy and conversion rate numbers are incomparable.
In 30 Premier League appearances last season, Kane recorded the seventh most number of shots (110) yet comfortably outscored any other player (29), an impressive conversion rate of 26.4 per cent. Of the top 10 players to have registered the most shots, Kane’s accuracy of 65 per cent was better than any other player.
In contrast, Ibrahimovic’s figures struggle to come anywhere near Kane’s. In his 28 appearances, the Swede had the fourth most shots (116) yet his 17 goals was only the seventh best in the Premier League, a conversion rate of just 14.7 per cent. Ibrahimovic’s shot accuracy (55%) also fell well below Kane’s.
Back him against Burnley
Tottenham’s opponents at the weekend, Burnley, faced Chelsea in the Premier League’s opening weekend and the stats from the game fully back up Kane’s potential to break his duck.
Despite losing 3-2, Chelsea had 19 shots, 13 of which came with 10 men following Gary Cahill’s red card, while four came in the last nine minutes after Cesc Fabregas’ dismissal. With a full complement of players, Spurs would be expected to be on top – Kane may fancy his chances of getting off the mark.