One way or another, Tottenham Hotspur expect a whirlwind summer chockfull of new signings, but it’s the prospective outgoing personnel that should concern supporters.
Reality could strike harshly in north London in the aftermath of the current campaign, especially if Tottenham fail to qualify for the Champions League.
The implications of failing to finish fourth have been well documented and Spurs supporters, though we don’t like to think about it, might soon be faced with the daunting prospect of losing the side’s best player and manager in one cruel, unforgiving transfer period.
That of course is the worst case scenario. Unfortunately the worst case scenario doesn’t seem all that unlikely. If Tottenham don’t finish in the top four, Harry Kane is as good as gone. Tottenham’s talisman will be unwilling to wait another year before signing with a side — namely Manchester City — guaranteed to pile on silverware.
Now I was wrong about that last summer, but, if Spurs finish outside of the top four, there’s no chance I’ll be incorrect again. But what happens if Tottenham qualify for the Champions League and Antonio Conte decides to stay on for a second season?
It’s probably the only permutation that could see Kane extend his time at Spurs. Though even that best-case scenario will not guarantee Kane’s presence in north London next season. Kane’s chances of winning a trophy this season evaporated when Spurs were ousted by Middlesbrough in the FA Cup.
Another trophy-less season doesn’t bode well for Tottenham. In fact it could prove decisive for Kane, who won’t take kindly to the thought of turning 30 without winning a single team trophy. He still has one full season before his milestone birthday, and while the England captain still has a few years before entering his twilight years, he must feel the hefty burden of not winning a trophy intensifying exponentially, particularly after the Middlesbrough defeat.
Nobody knows what’s truly in store for Kane, but one thing is certain: he will not stay if Conte doesn’t. Even if Conte stays put, Kane probably won’t stay even if the club achieves top four status and manages to hold on to their enigmatic gaffer.
Regardless of what happens on the pitch in the next two months, Tottenham is in for a nerve-racking, anxiety-riddled off-season. And if I were a betting man, I’d start planning for life without the club’s all-time best striker.