From Manchester City’s perspective, buying both players would be a dream come true, but if they were to choose one, who would benefit them more?
Harry Kane has many individual awards for Spurs and is one of the League’s star performers winning 3 Golden boots, 1 Playmaker and 6 Player of the Month awards. He is Spurs’ third highest goal scorer and is the only player in history to score the most goals and get the most assists in the same season. Kane has higher stats for almost every aspect of the attacking game as he has played football for longer and at a higher level than Jack Grealish, however, this does not mean he is the better player.
Harry Kane is one of the most clinical finishers in the world with over 200 goals for club and country. Since joining Spurs, he has recorded 166 Premier League goals in 245 appearances, showing not only how good he is, but how consistently he is good. Grealish has scored 15 goals in 96 Premier League appearances, less than half of Kane’s goals-per-game ratio, but this is also because he plays a deeper role for Villa.
When he does get into advanced positions, Grealish has a 36.8% shooting accuracy and Kane 34%. In the 2020-21 season, Harry Kane’s goal conversion rate was at 45% while Grealish had a rate of 34%, which isn’t too big of a decline but can really make the difference over the course of a season.
In terms of playmaking, both players have great vision and execution of through balls and creative passes; Grealish averages 0.17 assists per game while Kane averages 0.14. As the numbers are very similar, their passes into the attacking box could show who’s better. Kane has a pass completion rate of 41% and Grealish has a pass completion rate of 61%. This was closer than expected as Jack Grealish is famous for his playmaking and Harry Kane for his goal-scoring.
STRENGTHS & WEAKNESSES
Kane is one of the best finishers, from inside and outside the box, and from the spot. He makes key passes for Spurs and his decision-making is why he hits the numbers he hits every season. He has a great header on him, which makes him an asset in attack- to score goals, and in defence- to make clearances.
In the last few seasons, Kane’s biggest issue has been his fitness. He has struggled to maintain optimal fitness levels throughout the season and has found himself getting multiple injuries. Even though this is not his fault, it does make him a liability and is something any opposition would study before showing interest in him, especially considering his ageing body.
Grealish, on the other hand, is young and fit and hasn’t faced as many injuries that could negatively affect his career longevity. He is known for his unplayable close control, footwork, dribbling, and 1 v 1 approach play. His vision and passing is the best part of his attacking play, but he also comes back and helps in defence.
STYLES OF PLAY
Jack Grealish is a versatile player who can play along the front three but also in midfield. He demands the ball at his feet and likes to control the tempo with his delegating approach play. His close control makes him ideal against teams who defend deep and compact as he can play between the lines but is also good on the counter with his speed and awareness.
Harry Kane, however, prefers a long ball and crossing game as his body strength and heading is extremely difficult to defend against. He can shoot from anywhere and would be favoured to score against most keepers in the world. He is good on the counter and can also play a deeper number 9 role to create from midfield.
THE BETTER FIT
Buying Harry Kane would guarantee any team an additional 20 goals a season at minimum, especially with a provider like De Bruyne in midfield. Manchester City have sometimes struggled to finish off chances, especially from the penalty spot, which is Kane’s unique selling point.
Grealish is known for assisting with goals, however, Manchester City have enough creative players in the midfield such as Bernardo Silva and Kevin De Bruyne- who has won 2 Playmaker awards in the last 4 seasons and equalled the Premier League record for assists in a single season (20).
With so much talent at Manchester City, Grealish definitely adds squad depth, but does he get into the starting XI, and whom does he replace? Kane, on the contrary, starts at centre forward in City’s starting line-up ahead of Gabriel Jesus and is, therefore, more needed than Grealish.