Tottenham’s hopes of winning a trophy this season are not yet over, as they are still in the Champions League and should qualify for the quarter-finals after taking a last-16 3-0 lead against Borussia Dortmund ahead of next week’s second leg in Germany.
But his reaction to the Chelsea loss, together with his determination to add trophies to his list of personal achievements, has heightened concerns he will reassess his Spurs future at some stage.
Tottenham fell nine points behind leaders Liverpool ahead of Saturday’s north London derby against Arsenal, who are four points behind Mauricio Pochettino’s team.
Sources told The Daily Telegraph that Kane was angry with the Stamford Bridge performance and defeat, and that he was devastated the title was out of reach.
While nobody expects Kane to consider leaving at the end of this season, and there is virtually no chance of chairman Daniel Levy agreeing to sell him, there is a theory that the summer of 2020 could be a key time. By then, Kane will have played at least a season in Tottenham’s new stadium and will have given the club plenty of time to match his ambitions. He will turn 27 in July 2020.
Kane has constantly repeated his desire to start winning trophies over the past 12 months. In June last year, he said: “The main thing is a trophy. It’s been about four years now that I’ve been playing at this level and we’re yet to win a trophy.”
And in December last year, ahead of the Carabao Cup victory over Arsenal, he added: “The stage we are at now as a team, it is the next step for us. We have to start winning trophies.”
Kane signed a new six-year contract last summer, meaning he would still have four years remaining on his deal at the end of next season and Levy would remain in a strong position to try to keep him.
But Pochettino recognised that Tottenham’s star players, including Kane, whom he name-checked, could eventually reassess their futures if their ambitions change.
Asked whether he worried about his players reaching their peak age and deciding they wanted to leave, Pochettino replied: “Yes, that’s a point. If you remember last season, I told you that we need to talk about planning for the future of the club.
“I think you know very well the ambition of the players has changed. Your ambition changes every season. The goals, the challenge, different things happen and soon it’s not the same. Maybe it’s different from when Son [Heung-min] arrived, Harry Kane is another, that’s why football is a dynamic, in England, it’s so dynamic that you need to assess and judge every day.
“It’s like when you have an injured player in that every day it can change. Maybe if you have a different player then you can change and not be negative. Tomorrow, it can be fantastic and suddenly he can arrive to play. Football is so open.”
Kane’s annoyance at Stamford Bridge was evident as he squared up to both David Luiz and Cesar Azpilicueta during a limp Tottenham display in which they failed to register a shot on target.
The Football Association decided not to punish Kane for going head to head with Azpilicueta and, asked about the incident, Pochettino said: “He is a player that cares about the club, the team and the result and it is normal to behave like this.
“The reaction is fantastic from my point of view because [he] is a player that cares about what has happened. It should be strange or different if he didn’t show that character or show the message that he cares about the result, he cares about the situation, he cares about the club. That is the most important thing in my point of view.”
Tottenham have lost twice since Kane came back early from his latest ankle injury, prompting accusations he has upset the balance of the team.
But Pochettino said: “It makes me laugh, it is unbelievable, but that is the era we are living in. Harry is one of the best strikers, [best] players in the world.
“For different circumstances we didn’t win but Harry is one of the best players, not only here in Tottenham, in England, in Europe and the world. That is no doubt and there is no debate.”