Leaving a club to further your playing ambitions can be fraught with problems … especially if you’re the team’s captain and top goalscorer and come through the clubs academy.
I was never in that position and I never wanted to move on from my clubs, on four out of four occasions they moved me on. A player of Harry Kane’s talent deserves to win trophies so I could understand if he wanted to leave, and if Tottenham decide they want to sell him it will be almost impossible or him to stay.
The key for Harry Kane, if he does depart, is to do so in a way that ensures he can remain a hero for the Spurs fans forever. He doesn’t want to end up being hated in the way Sol Campbell was following his acrimonious departure from the club.
Campbell came through the academy, just like Kane, and became a truly great first team player for nine seasons at White Hart Lane. The important thing is for Kane to be open and honest with the club if he does want to go.
That way Spurs should receive a record breaking transfer fee to compensate for the loss of their brilliant goal scorer. The process should be as transparent as possible and the club and player need to be up front with the fans about what is going on.
It’s why Spurs fans are so hostile towards Sol Campbell, they feel there was a lack of honesty leading up to his 2001 departure. Fans felt deceived because he left on a free transfer having run down his contract after implying he would sign a new deal.
Spurs missed out on getting a transfer fee for Campbell but the player and his agent were the chief beneficiaries. I’ve worked in the media with Sol and have no issues with him but I would not want to be in his shoes no matter how much money he made just because of the sheer level of hatred he has had to deal with over the years.
I am fortunate enough to have a good relationship with all the clubs I played for and am always made very welcome if I want to go back to watch a game or whatever. That definitely wouldn’t be the case for Campbell and Michael Owen is another player who I don’t think feels particularly welcome at his boyhood club because he went on to play for Man Utd.
Harry Kane is a class act on and off the pitch and I believe he will show integrity with whatever negotiations are approaching. But I would urge him to think carefully about his next move, because he will be a legend for life at Tottenham if he does the right thing.
That doesn’t necessarily mean staying, although it would be refreshing to see that there were still one club men at the pinnacle of the modern game in the mold of a Totti or Maldini or Gerrard (I don’t think any Liverpool fans would hold his stint in MLS against him!). But if he does move he should think carefully about where he wants to go.
I don’t think Spurs fans would hold it against him if Kane decided to move to Spain or Italy in order to pursue his dream of winning the top honours. But I do think it would leave a sour taste among supporters if he left for a Premier League rival like Man Utd.
It was an honour for me to be invited to the grand opening of the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. It is 30 years since I Iast played for the first team but the bond that I still have with the club and its supporters means a lot to me.
Whatever Harry Kane does next, and I hope it is to commit his long term future to Spurs, he should think carefully about what that relationship means to him and whether any amount of money could be enough to destroy it.