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Kane vs Shearer: How Do They Compare Aged 24?

Kane vs Shearer: How Do They Compare Aged 24?

Alan Shearer is widely regarded as one of the greatest English strikers the game has seen.

In a remarkable career, he scored 379 goals in all competitions domestically and 30 for his country. He’s the top goal scorer in Premier League history and has broken numerous records.

But, there’s now another English striker who’s in pole position to dethrone Shearer as the best of all-time and his name is Harry Kane.

Kane has already reached the magical 100 Premier League goals milestone, albeit in seventeen games more than it took Shearer to reach the same target.

Shearer reached a peak aged around twenty-four/twenty-five and remained one of the best strikers in the country for several years after that. Kane is only twenty-four now and has both the ability and time on his side to surpass Shearer’s achievements.

There’s no point arguing over who is the best without substantial proof and how their careers stack up against each other cannot be looked at until Kane has retired. But, we can compare stats at the age of twenty-four.

Early Careers

Kane began his route to professional football via the Arsenal and Watford youth academies before settling at Spurs. But, it took him a while to break into the first team, despite being a stand-out player at both under-16 and under-18 level.

In fact, Kane made his senior debut whilst on loan at Leyton Orient in January 2011. He then had further loan spells at Millwall, Norwich City, and Leicester City, before finally getting a chance in the first team (in the Premier League)at Tottenham during the 2013/14 campaign. (Ed: Harry made appearances for Spurs in the Europa League in 2011, scoring his first senior Spurs goal against Shamrock Rovers in December 2011)

Three goals from ten appearances helped to whet the appetite for what was to come.

The following season, 2014/15, Kane had his breakthrough campaign. Twenty-one league goals from thirty-four games helped Spurs finish fifth and his thirty-one goals in all competition made him the first Tottenham player to score more than thirty in a single campaign since Gary Lineker in 1991/92.

Shearer didn’t have to cut his teeth in the lower divisions. He had been scouted by Southampton as a schoolboy and signed a youth contract with them in 1986, four months before his sixteenth birthday.

He then made his debut as a seventeen-year-old, as a substitute in top-flight match against Chelsea in March 1988. A few weeks later, he hit the headlines by breaking the record for the youngest player to score a top-flight hat-trick. This he did in his full debut against Arsenal.

Despite that promising start, Shearer didn’t score again that season or the next. In fact, he only netted ten goals in his first seventy-seven league games for Southampton. Although he did show promise with several goals in cup matches during that time.

His breakthrough season came in 1992/93, the first ever Premier League season, after Blackburn Rovers had paid a British record £3.6 million to secure his signature. He scored twenty-two goals from twenty-six appearances in all competitions during that campaign, to start paying off some of that hefty transfer fee paid by Blackburn Rovers.

Stats at 24

To be fair here, we’ve only included top-flight appearances and goals for the league section. Kane’s statistics are up to 11 March 2018 and Shearer’s are up to the end of the 1994/95 season, the last he played in before turning twenty-five.

In the international section, Shearer’s stats go up to his last cap before his twenty-fifth birthday in August 1995.

League (Premier League or Old Division One Only)

           Apps   Goals   Goals per game
Kane       145     102         0.70
Shearer    221     104         0.47

All Competitions

           Apps   Goals   Goals per game
Kane       269     150         0.56
Shearer    281     136         0.48


           Caps   Goals   Goals per game
Kane        23      12         0.52
Shearer     17       5         0.29

Harry Kane

Harry Kane - (CC BY-SA 2.0) By Brad Tutterow


At the age of twenty-four, Shearer had been named Football Writers’ Association Player of the Year, PFA Players’ Player of the Year, Premier League Player of the Season, and had finished top scorer in a league season once. He also helped Blackburn Rovers win the Premier League title in 1994/95.

Kane has already won more domestic golden boots, with two, and has been named in the PFA Team of the Year three times. He has also been PFA Young Player of the Year and PFA Fans Player of the Year.

Transfer Value

Kane – Harry Kane has yet to command a transfer fee in his career to date, and there have been minimal loan fees paid during the early stages of his career. Transfermarkt have him valued at around £108m, but his value to the club makes him worth at least £150m-£200m.

Shearer – Alan Shearer became the most expensive player in British history in 1992, with Blackburn paying £3.6m for him. Today, that’s only around £6m in terms of actual inflation. The Telegraph, however, printed a report last year which takes ‘TV Rights’ inflation into consideration and that turns the £3.6m in 1992 into £162m today.

A recent post on the Betway blog looked at today’s estimated value of some of the best English strikers in history, including Shearer. Here they deemed the England legend would be worth £200m if his world record move from Blackburn to Newcastle happened today.

So, Who Has the Edge at 24?

It looks pretty clear that Harry Kane at twenty-four is a better striker than Alan Shearer was at the same age. Kane also still has a few months to add to his goal tally before turning twenty-five, both for club and for his country.

It remains to be seen if he can maintain his phenomenal goal scoring record and become the greatest English striker of all-time, but he’s definitely on the right track.

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