– Burnout –
Kane may have been hurt by the perception he was greedily hunting individual accolades but, undeterred, the England captain finished as top scorer at the World Cup with six goals.
Yet, by his own admission, Kane was not quite at his best in Russia despite England’s run to the semi-finals and the hangover has continued into the new campaign.
The 25-year-old has just scored two goals in six games for club and country this season, with the statistics behind those numbers making for even more unsettling reading.
Sky Sports statistics released this week show Kane averaged 6.7 shots per 90 minutes by the end of August 2017, whereas he currently averages 2.6 shots per match.
Amid fears Kane is nearing burnout, England boss Gareth Southgate was forced to defend his decision to bring on his captain as a substitute in the 1-0 friendly win over Switzerland on Tuesday.
Ankle ligament damage suffered at the beginning of April, fatigue after such a short summer break and opponents taking extra care to snuff him out have all been mooted as reasons for Kane’s problems.
“I’m concerned about Harry Kane. Since 2015, Kane has played 175 matches. Forget the physical side, he needs a mental break as well because he’s struggling,” former England assistant coach Gary Neville told Sky Sports this week.
Salah’s dip has not stopped Liverpool climbing to the top of the Premier League after four successive wins, while Tottenham are just three points behind.
Even so, it would be a comforting sight for Reds manager Klopp and Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino if their star men were back on song this weekend.