When a homegrown club captain tries to make his way to the exit doors, fans are naturally going to be miffed. When that player is Harry Kane, arguably the greatest Spurs player in modern history, it becomes even worse. However, the England captain reached breaking point this summer when his frustration with the post-Mauricio Pochettino era led to a transfer request. The club did not listen, though, and so far Kane has played a rather subdued, dour role in the 2021-22 season.
As the England man heads back off on international duty, though, he chose now as the right time to come out and defend his conduct. Many Spurs fans were upset by the way the potential exit was handled. Fans have grown weary of the semi-explanations, and now the Spurs captain has decided to open up in public about the situation.
Speaking ahead of the final World Cup qualifiers for England – against Albania and San Marino – Kane tried to provide an explanation.
Part of the explanation revolved around his contract, with his brother and agent, Charlie, criticised in some corners for signing the long-term deal that kept Kane in-place to begin with.
What did Harry Kane say about his transfer request in the summer?
The first thing that Kane addressed was the agency issue. His brother has been his agent for a while and has negotiated his last deals. Kane, though, admitted that he was hurt when reading the negative press that his brother was receiving, saying: "Whatever the circumstance, whenever there is stuff being written about your family, it's always maybe a little bit difficult to take, especially when it's stuff that's negative,
"But I think that's when families really come together during those moments. Obviously I'm very close to my brother and my parents, my wife, her family, so there's plenty of people that I know and trust and am able to talk to. It's never easy when there is any negative story about yourself or someone you know, or your friends, or team-mates. In the summer, there was a lot of stuff about my brother, being my agent.”
Given the striker has just 1 goal in 10 league games – his worst run of form in many years – some are convinced his head has been turned. However, Kane explained that it was a mixture of the mental fatigue of losing Euro 2020 at the final hurdle as well as the potential exit saga.
Remarking on that, he said: "You go through the highs and lows of a major tournament, coming so close to a dream and it being taken away from you in such a quick moment. Then it was my first summer of transfer speculation and having to deal with those situations.
“So of course, it takes a toll mentally on yourself but from my point of view, I've always had good friends and good family around me.
"Being able to talk to them in those situations. Being able to talk to people you trust. When things are difficult, it's important that you do talk about it and not just hide it in and suck it up. But it is important that you have people around you that you can trust to do that. That's what I've done."
While that might not be enough for some Spurs fans, it is the clearest explanation yet provided as to why Kane has been so patchy this year. With a new coach in place, though, there is nothing to stop Kane from finding the form that made him such a star in the first place.