EPL

Tottenham telepathy: Kane and Son already among best partnerships in Premier League history

By Sports Desk October 17, 2020

Gareth Bale is set to join a Tottenham attack which already has Harry Kane and Son Heung-min established as one of the most productive partnerships in Premier League history.

Wales international Bale is nearing his second debut for Spurs, whose fans are understandably excited about the impact he could have after signing on loan from Real Madrid.

Even without him, though, England captain Kane and South Korea star Son have made a magnificent start to the 2020-21 season, taking their past production to another level.

Ahead of Sunday's home London derby against West Ham, Opta data helps us to examine just how impressive the partnership between Kane and Son has been.

SENSATIONAL SEASON SO FAR

Kane and Son have combined with each other for six Premier League goals this season.

Son has scored five of those, including four in one match against Southampton last month, all of which were created by Kane, who later went on to score himself in a remarkable 5-2 win.

The first strike from Son came in first-half stoppage time and he had four by the 73rd minute after a remarkable spree that shook the Saints at St Mary's.

Two goals came with Son's left foot and the other two with his right, all set up by Kane to make it the first occasion in league history when one player had assisted another four times in a match.

With his goal, Kane became the first player to be directly involved in five strikes in a Premier League match since Mohamed Salah in March 2018.

Kane was also involved in five goals against Leicester City in 2017, meaning the England skipper was just the third player to achieve the feat for a second time - putting him in elite company with Alan Shearer and Thierry Henry.

The Spurs duo's six shared goal involvements is double the second-best in this season's top flight, with their nearest challengers being Jack Grealish and Ollie Watkins, who have combined for three goals at Aston Villa. No other partnership has combined for more than two.

It goes beyond goals, too. Kane and Son have created 13 chances for one another this season and, unlike the first category where Son goals account for the majority, this split is more even.

Kane has created seven chances for Son, five of which have been scored, while in turn being set up for six opportunities by his Spurs team-mate.

Next best in that category are Everton stars James Rodriguez and Richarlison - they have connected for a total of seven chances created.

For Kane, his individual production has already hit a historic rate. His three goals and six assists give him nine goal involvements over the first four matches of the season.

He has never recorded more than three involvements over his opening four starts in any of the five previous Premier League campaigns.

Given he only had two assists in the whole of last season, his creative streak is a particularly impressive development.

His team play has been acknolwedged by manager Jose Mourinho, who made a point of calling him man of the match against Southampton in multiple interviews, despite Son's goals grabbing the headlines.

ALREADY AMONG THE BEST

While this season has been spectacular, Kane and Son have also impressed with their link-up play in years gone by.

The Spurs forwards have directly combined for 26 Premier League goals since the signing of Son from Bayer Leverkusen in 2015, building a superb understanding over the past five seasons.

Since Son's debut, no top-flight partnership has linked up for more goals.

Indeed, the prolific Kane is responsible for three of the top four partnerships in that time period, also combining regularly with Christian Eriksen (19) and Dele Alli (18).

The 26 goals from him and Son - two of which came in the 6-1 thumping of Manchester United last time out - is good enough for fifth all time in the Premier League.

Their total sits above some star-studded connections like Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero (20), Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney (20), as well as Steve McManaman and Robbie Fowler (24).

They are just one goal away from the best Spurs duo in Premier League history, Darren Anderton and Teddy Sheringham, who connected for 27.

Also in their sights are the two combinations who are tied for second place.

David Silva and Aguero linked up for 29 goals before the Spaniard's Manchester City exit at the end of last season, the same tally recorded by Arsenal greats Robert Pires and Henry.

A more distant target is the Premier League's best-ever connection.

Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba combined directly for 36 goals, though they played in the same Chelsea team as each other for eight years.

Kane and Son are scoring at a faster rate, so if they both stay at the club as regular starters for over the next two or three seasons, they can reasonably be expected to take top spot down the line.

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