Kane v Lukaku: Do Tottenham or Everton boast the better striker?
He’s 23-years-old, he’s scored 17 goals in the Premier League this season and has four assists to his name. But this is no fluke – he’s already scored over 50 top-flight goals for his club. But are we talking about Harry Kane or Romelu Lukaku?
The answer is both.
Remarkably, as the Tottenham Hotspur and Everton strikers prepare to do battle this weekend, they head into the clash at White Hart Lane with eerily similar records.
But who is the better player? Ladbrokes News, for the first time with the help of FIFA 17, assesses the stats, performances and overall contribution of both players…
According to FIFA, Kane is clearly the better finisher, rated at 88 while Lukaku is behind on 84. But surprisingly, their numbers so far this season don’t support that.
Many consider Kane to be the deadlier finisher, and while the Spurs striker’s shot accuracy last season (60 per cent) was better than his rival forward (56 per cent), it’s Lukaku who is leading the way in that department this time out, boasting a figure of 65 per cent to Kane’s 62 per cent.
It’s also worth noting that 16.7 per cent of Kane’s top-flight goals have been penalties, while only 6.5 per cent of Lukaku’s strikes have been from the spot.
In terms of heading ability, the two players can hardly be separated on FIFA. Lukaku just leads the way, rated 83, while Kane is on 82.
Their performances on the pitch support that, too. Both are considered powerful presences, capable of holding their own against the most physical defenders in world football.
So far for the Toffees, 15 of Lukaku’s goals have come from his head, while Kane has netted 12 via the same method.
Moving onto goals scored by each player’s weaker foot, and Lukaku leads the way, with 29 per cent of his goals coming off his right boot, while 20 per cent of Kane’s strikes in a Spurs shirt have been on his left-hand side.
What we can take from this is that it’s easier to defend against the Tottenham ace, as it’s more predictable which way he’s likely to go, while Lukaku poses a threat on both his left and right foot. In other words, he’s a defender’s worst nightmare.
As for each player’s dribbling abilities, FIFA rates Kane as the better player on the ball (78), while Lukaku is four points behind in that department.
But do this season’s figures match?
In a nutshell, no.
Lukaku has attempted 69 dribbles so far this season – or roughly 2.8 per game. Of those, a staggering 46 have been successful.
And a 66 per cent rate of completed dribbles massively outweighs that of Kane, who has only attempted 40 dribbles this season, of which just 45 per cent of them have been successful.
But how do the two compare in terms of minutes-per-goal and overall contribution?
So far, Lukaku has played 10,800 minutes of Premier League football for the Merseyside outfit, which works out to roughly 120 games, while Kane has 8,262 minutes (92 games) of top-flight minutes under his belt in a Spurs shirt.
Kane currently has 66 goals to his name in the league, meaning he boasts a ratio of a goal roughly every 125 minutes.
Lukaku, on the other hand, may have 11 more goals to speak of, but he’s played a lot more minutes for the Toffees than Kane has for Tottenham, which gives him a ratio of a goal every 140 minutes.
That’s all well and good, but plenty would argue that the importance of the goal outweighs the regularity of scoring.
So who leads the way in terms of contribution?
Well, this season alone, the Belgium international is accountable for a staggering 40 per cent of Everton’s league goals – a figure which can only be bettered by Jermain Defoe at Sunderland.
Kane, meanwhile, has netted some 35 per cent of Tottenham’s goals so far in this campaign.
Goals mean points
While that’s an interesting stat to know – it tells us more about Everton and Spurs as clubs, rather than the two players themselves.
So how do Kane and Lukaku compare when it comes to singlehandedly winning their team points?
Since the start of the 2015-16 season, Lukaku’s goals have earned Everton 15 points, while Kane’s strikes have meant Spurs have ended up 16 points better off, meaning the England international just edges this one.
The Verdict – Alex Apati
It’s a close call, but after scrolling through years of statistics from both players, I have to come to some sort of conclusion! And it’s that Lukaku is the better striker. I think he’s improving year on year, having once been known as the kind of player who needs 10 chances to score one goal.
The stats suggest that’s changing, and in terms of the future of both players, I think Lukaku would be able to slot into almost any front line in world football – and he’d attract the interest of pretty much every elite side in Europe. I don’t think the same can be said for Kane just yet.
But I’ll hand it over to the boys in the office to leave you with their opinion on the matter…
If any manager has this problem, then they’ve hit the jackpot. Kane is the better finisher, but Lukaku is quicker and stronger.
The Belgian is also rapidly improving his link-up play and off-the-ball movement, right now I’d probably pick Kane, but in two or three years’ time Lukaku is the man.
This is a very tough call.
I think Rich has made a good point about Lukaku’s superior physical attributes and the improvements to his game. But I’d still pick Kane over the Belgian.
He’s a world-class finisher and has greater variation to his game than perhaps people give him credit for – I’m thinking of THAT goal against Arsenal here – and he rarely goes missing.
We’ve had our say, but what do you think? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing