There is no one moment that encapsulates Harry Kane’s 2017. There is no one goal, no one game. There is not even a single stretch of games, or a lone characteristic or attribute. And that’s exactly what has made Kane’s year so outstanding.
The English striker beat Burnley with his seventh hat trick of 2017 on Saturday, and in doing so equaled Alan Shearer’s record for most Premier League goals in a calendar year with 36.
Kane got No. 34 from the penalty spot. He calmly placed No. 35 past Burnley keeper Nick Pope after the Clarets’ defense graciously opened up for him in the second half.
He drew level with Shearer at the end of a brilliant sequence that started with a tackle, continued with a smooth first touch, and ended with a clinical left-footed finish.
That’s the thing about Kane. He’s so much more than just a goalscorer. He’s irreplaceable in Tottenham’s attack because of his ability to link up with teammates; because he can be both field-stretcher and target man; because he can create for others.
And yet his goalscoring numbers are still mind-boggling.
They’re the best numbers England has seen in some time. Saturday was Kane’s 15th multi-goal game of 2017 for Tottenham, and 17th including internationals. He’s scored 53 goals in all competitions, an extraordinary tally for a player who three years ago was branded a 21-year-old one-season wonder.
Kane and Tottenham had Burnley, previously one of the best defenses in the Premier League, bamboozled. They missed plenty of chances, just as so many others have against the Clarets this season, but created enough to render the misses irrelevant. And once they got Kane on the end of a few, they were cruising to three points.
Kane will have one more match to break Shearer’s record, on Tuesday at home against Southampton. And if you watched him Saturday, you’d be bold to suggest he won’t eclipse it.