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Will Harry Kane suffer from the dreaded second season syndrome or is he the real deal?

Harry Kane has hit 19 league goals this season, but will he repeat his heroics next season or end up on the scrapheap reliving his glory season like some of these flops?

by Paddy Power | April 9, 2015

What a season Harry Kane is having so far. 19 goals in the Premier League, 27 in total and a goal 80 seconds into his England debut. A cure for Andros Townsend’s forehead and he’d be a hero. But is he the real deal or a one season flash in the pan like some of these boys?

Kevin Phillips – 30 goals 1999/00

One of football’s many journeymen Kevin Phillips is the one striker who’s close in comparison to Harry Kane. Thirty goals in the 99/00 season for Sunderland was as good as it got for Phillips, whose next best season in the top flight was 2000/01 with 14. Pressure from the incredibly knowledgeable public helped Phillips earn his first call-up to the England side, but in three years and eight games he failed to score.

Phillips burst onto the scene as an unknown in the old Division One and destroyed defences like Charlie Sheen on a night out. But he averaged just under seven goals in the nine seasons he went on to play in the top flight. Should Harry Kane be worried?


James Beattie – 23 goals 2002/03 

James Beattie sums up everything about jumping the gun on a striker. Twenty-three goals for Southampton in the 02/03 season gave the fans the new God they were looking for since Le Tiss left. He propelled Southampton to the F.A. Cup Final and an all time high eighth in the Premier League. But that was as good as it got for Beattie.

Everton made the fantastic decision to pay £6 million for a guy who didn’t score a single goal in 22 appearances three years previously. In three seasons at Goodison he scored 13 goals. That’s £461,538.46 per goal over three years or, to put in a way Steve Bruce can understand, 692,307 sausage rolls. Enough to last him the rest of the season.


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Andy Johnson – 21 goals in 2004/2005

Here we have another Everton reject. Andy Johnson had an incredible season for Crystal Palace in their maiden Premier League campaign, but there’s a reason why Birmingham thought they were getting the better deal when they swapped him for Clinton Morrison. Remember him? Not so much. After Palace went down there was interest from clubs who are now thanking every God there is that they didn’t sign him, but he stayed with Palace for another season.

In the same vein as Phillips, pressure from the public along with Johnson saying he would declare for Poland made Sven Goran Eriksson give him is debut. His stats? Zlich from eight over two years. Bald guys just don’t get on well with England…

A move to Everton in 2006 for £8.6 million showed that the Merseyside club had not learned from their outstanding buy of James Beattie. With 17 goals in two season he cost £505,882.35 per goal or 758,823 sausage rolls. A move to Fulham for an incredible £10.5 million in 2008 was the best piece of business that David Moyes has done since investing in Spanish lessons. A rather pathetic return of 13 goals in four years averaged out at £807,692.31 a goal or 26 BMW 5 series cars with a bit left over.


Grant Holt – 15 goals in 2011/12

Ahh, Grant Holt, the question that always dogs you. Why the hell would someone sign you? 31 years old when you did eventually make it into the Premier League, a good return of 15 goals and suddenly you should be England’s first choice and playing for Real Madrid? Holt’s next three seasons showed the quality of player he really is. Eleven goals in three seasons including a mesmerising two goals in 16 for Wigan last season.

Holt had four good years where he scored one and a half times as many goals than in the previous eight seasons, but this was at League 1 and Championship level. Roy Hodgson actually showed some sense by not picking him for the World Cup in 2012 despite Holt repeatedly claiming he was the best option. He had his season in the limelight, milked it for all it was worth and then some and went back into obscurity. May he please God stay there.

Roy Hodgson

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Michu – 18 goals in 2012/13

Anyone remember this lad? He came, he conquered, he left. For one season full of flowing locks and banging goals Michu was the terror of the Premier League. Picked up for £2 million from Rayo Vallecano he nailed 18 goals in his first season, won the League Cup, was called up by Vicente Del Bosque for his first cap and than disappeared. Two goals in his next two seasons in the League for Swansea and Napoli doesn’t show for stellar reading.

Michu is the most recent Harry Kane. There was a huge amount of talk of a £25 million pound move to Arsenal, but they decided to spend it rather wisely on Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez instead. He was called up to the Spanish squad as an unknown at international level and he hadn’t done all that much before his breakout season. Michu is the prefect example of  a second season syndrome player, exactly the kind Kane needs to worry about becoming.


Romelu Lukaku – 15 goals in 2013/2014

Yes Lukaku scored 17 goals when he was at West Brom, but three of those came against a Manchester United side already in party mode because of Sir Alex’s last game. At Everton last year if you had €/£ 5 e/w on Lukaku to score each week your wallet would be bulging with a profit of €/£ 42.50. Same bet this year and your wallet would be a graveyard with a loss of €/£ 88.75 thanks to the big man’s measly return of eight goals. Only Manchester City have a worse record than Everton when it comes to signing strikers (see £18 million spent on Jo).

If you had €/£ 5 on Harry Kane each week this season your coffers would be up an impressive 18% since October. The powers in the chin. According to the wallets Lukaku hasn’t backed up his form from last season which puts him into the dreaded category with the above. £28 million for eight goals is £3.5 million a goal. I don’t even want to think about how many sausage rolls that is.

Lukaku correct size

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