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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Mirror Football

Harry Kane left trailing in ongoing debate despite Tottenham star's record-breaking feat

Harry Kane's winner against Manchester City on Sunday made him the quickest player to reach 200 Premier League goals.

As well as breaking Jimmy Greaves' Tottenham scoring record in all competitions, Kane joined only Alan Shearer and Wayne Rooney with a double century since the top flight's rebranding in 1991/92.

So does that mean Kane is now the greatest English striker of all-time? Better than Greaves, Shearer, Rooney, Gary Lineker, Bobby Charlton, Dixie Dean or whoever else you might suggest? We have asked our Mirror Football experts to run the rule over the best to have come from these shores...and whether it matter that he hasn't won anything...

Andy Dunn

It should go without saying that being the most prolific striker does not make you the best striker.

You would be hard-pressed to find any Spurs-watchers from the 1960s - or football-watchers in general from that era - who would rank Harry Kane above Jimmy Greaves in their all-time pecking order.

He is up there, for sure, and will set a formidable international goals record but, again, it depends how you quantify greatness. Getting a hat-trick in a World Cup final, for example, must earn you extra points.

There are contenders for the greatest-ever tag who few of us saw in the flesh - fabled strikers such as Nat Lofthouse and, of course, Dixie Dean.

Harry Kane is now Tottenham's all-time leading goalscorer (Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images)

So, rather than make a judgement on figures or footage, this one is on the evidence of my own eyes. And on that evidence, Wayne Rooney still gets the nod, ahead of Kane, who will probably go past the former Manchester United man’s England scoring mark next month.

For me, as well as being a spectacular finisher, Rooney brought just that little bit more to the game and was instrumental in his club team winning a raft of trophies. Kane is great but Rooney was just that little bit better.

Mike Walters

Tremendous player, a walking billboard for making the most of your attributes and a decent bloke.

But England's greatest-ever striker? Come off it – Harry Kane is not even the greatest in Tottenham Hotspur's history.

Statistically, yes, Kane has gone past Jimmy Greaves as the club's most prolific goalscorer of all time. Not even the coldest heart would begrudge him a place in the record books.

And His Harryship's captaincy of England has taken the Three Lions to a World Cup semi-final, the Euro 2020 final and a hairline defeat in the last eight in Qatar two months ago. Can't be bad.

There is, however, a difference between breaking records, wearing armbands and greatness. Kane has yet to win a trophy with Tottenham. Greaves joined Spurs just after they had won the Double in 1961, but he still won three cups with them.

And don't fall for the flawed yardstick that Kane is now closing in on Alan Shearer's 'record' of 260 Premier League goals. In all, Greaves scored 357 goals in English football's top flight with Chelsea, Tottenham and West Ham before Andy Gray and Richard Keys invented football in 1992 – and he retired at just 31.

Tottenham mark Harry Kane becoming the club's record goalscorer against Man City (Getty Images)

Greaves was a pioneer, the first striker who skipped past defenders as if he was wearing roller skates where everyone else was stomping around in hob-nailed boots.

He also made us laugh for a decade as Ian St John's Saturday lunchtime sidekick on TV. Kane and Greavsie will never need a stand-up comics' shoot-out to see who can deliver the best punchline, but go on, Harry... tell us a joke.

James Nursey

Harry Kane is a record-breaker and the only certainty is he will continue to break more records.

Spurs captain and top scorer overtook the legendary Jimmy Greaves with his winner against Manchester City for his 267th goal for the club. He deserves all the acclaim Tottenham rightly bestowed on him for grafting his way to the top.

Kane, 29, is a huge talent but he didn't always look like one when i saw him on loan at Norwich a decade ago in a forgettable spell in which he failed to score.

Yet he has learned from set-backs and just worked even harder to first break into Spurs side, then England's and then establish himself as both teams' captain too.

Kane is such a clean-living, admirable professional he deserves all he gets. As a golf nut, about his only sin is the occasional three putt. Few would dispute he is one the best strikers in the world after 53 goals for England.

Next he must surely have Alan Shearer's Premier League record of 260 in his sights as Kane is on 200. I think only injuries could stop him from achieving that. Sadly, he has won no team trophy in his career, yet.

But if there is any justice Kane will lift major silverware before his time is up but irrespective of that, I think he will go down as England's best ever striker and have the stats to back it up.

Neil McLeman

Jimmy Greaves is still regarded as a Tottenham and England great (Getty Images)

Is Harry Kane now England’s best ever striker? No. Jimmy Greaves.

Kane has overtaken Jimmy Greaves as Tottenham’s highest goalscorer but other numbers say his Spurs predecessor is, for now, still the best ever England striker.

Greaves remains the top goalscorer in the English top flight with 357 goals between 1957 and 1972 for Chelsea, Tottenham and West Ham. And though he is now fifth in the England all-time goalscorers, his strike rate of 44 goals in 57 games (0.77 per game) is above the four men ahead of him – Kane (53 in 80 at 0.66 per game), Wayne Rooney, Bobby Charlton and Gary Lineker. Injury kept Greaves out of the group stages at the 1966 World Cup and Geoff Hurst took his chance to write his name in history with a hat-trick in the final.

Greaves, who passed away in 2021 aged 81, still holds the record of six hat-tricks for England. He never won a major trophy with England or the League title here but continued to star in the game after his retirement on Saint and Greavsie. A class act on and off the pitch.

David Maddock

Dixie Dean was a goalscoring machine for Everton (GETTY)

No. Not even close. Jimmy Greaves, whose Spurs record he has just surpassed, was better.

Time is the redactor in chief to past football stars’ reputations, editing their brilliance with faded memories. But the stats still endure. Greaves still has more league goals for Tottenham, and still holds the all time top flight record, with 357.

Kane is miles behind that record on 200 in the Premier League, and it’s hard to see him getting close. He’s already played 11 seasons in the top flight, while Greaves managed 15 in his career.

And if we’re talking history, then Dixie Dean is head and shoulders above the rest of the forwards to represent England. He scored, wait for it, 310 top flight goals in 360 Everton appearances, a goals to games ratio of 0.86…light years ahead of anyone else.

Add in the goals Dean scored in helping Everton win promotion back into the first division in 1930-31 - when he stayed loyal, despite relegation and countless offers to leave - he produced 349 goals in 399 league games, a ratio of 0.88.

Dean played only 11 seasons in the top flight, the same as Kane has already managed. That's 110 more league goals in the same period. He also scored 60 league goals (and 82 in all comps) during the 1927-28 title winning season. That record will NEVER be surpassed.

Dixie Dean was undisputedly England’s greatest ever striker. And yet he received only 16 caps for his country despite scoring 18 goals in those matches, a ratio of 1.1 per game…far better than even Greaves.

Why so few? Politics. Perhaps even a hint of racism wound up in the inference of his nickname. Whatever, he deserves now to be recognised as the best there ever was.

Darren Lewis

Harry Kane can still smash the Premier League record (AFP via Getty Images)

Impressive? Yes. A Spurs legend? Absolutely. England’s best-ever? Even Harry Kane would not lay claim to that.

How can he when he has never lifted a trophy? How can he when Alan Shearer lifted the title with Blackburn and Wayne Rooney plundered five of them and the Champions League with Manchester United? Even Jimmy Greaves, the man whose record Kane surpassed, was a World Cup winner. Kane’s goals have kept Spurs competitive but do not elevate him to that level.

The England captain’s escape bid two years ago was an attempt to address that with Manchester City, ironically, waiting with open arms at the time. Now that the power is in his hands, with a year left on his contract, the power is with Kane as he looks to lift himself up alongside the trophy-winning giants.

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