Could Aston Villa have their own Harry Kane ready for next season?
It’s easy to forget just how average Harry Kane’s record was before revelling in the limelight of leading the Tottenham line this season, where his 20 goals have brought about a price of 9/4 to be Premier League top scorer.
In loan spells at Leyton Orient, Millwall, Norwich and Leicester his scoring record was worse than a goal every three matches.
Kane’s return is much better internationally, with a goal pretty much every two matches for England from under-17 to senior level.
Tim Sherwood has always indicated that he was pivotal in Kane’s development, if for no other reason than convincing Tottenham that the striker had a future with the club and that he shouldn’t be sold.
Aston Villa have a forward of their own with a record very similar to a younger Kane and the big question is whether the current Villa boss views Callum Robinson in the same mould in terms of potential.
Even though Sherwood is known to prefer variants of the old-school 4-4-2 formation, Villa aren’t blessed with a hatful of partners for Christian Benteke in attack.
Gabby Agbonlahor remains highly useful on the counter attack and his hold-up play is much improved over the years, but he will never be a regular scorer of goals.
Andreas Weimann is a hard worker that gives his all, but is another without that clinical edge, while Libor Kozak doesn’t come across as a natural partner to Benteke given his size and Scott Sinclair is a wide forward, not a central striker.
It would be no surprise to see Villa in the market for a striker in the summer who is capable of at least reaching double figures for goals in a Premier League season, but Robinson may be the cost-effective answer.
Seven goals for Preston across two loan spells this season is a fair return for the 20-year-old, especially given he has been regularly utilised out wide, rather than in a central position.
This is a similar ratio as Kane from his loan spells and he matches up close to the Spurs striker on the international stage too, with five goals in nine appearances for England under-19s and under-20s.
Robinson recently converted a winning penalty for England under-20s against Mexico to boost his big-game experience.
His one obvious weakness appears to be his physical attributes and whether he is strong enough size wise to compete in the Premier League, which was something that was directed at Kane in his teenage years.
Kane has recently highlighted Mauricio Pochettino’s physical conditioning and fitness regimes as a key reason for his prolific campaign.
This is something that is fairly easily rectified in the gym for Robinson and he appears to have the pace, directness and dribbling qualities to pose a threat at a higher level than League One.
With Sherwood known to blood youngsters and Robinson set to return in the summer from a successful loan stint, there is certainly a high probability that he will be around the Villa first team next season.
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