Kane’s actually hurting Spurs now: Neil Humphreys
England captain should have been sold to rebuild Tottenham squad
Harry Kane still has eyes for Manchester City. His body remains at Tottenham Hotspur, barely, but his mind is lost in a hazy no-man's-land of sorts. And there's no mistaking where the heart is right now.
The dazed striker is fast becoming the protagonist in a James Blunt ballad. He's only one hapless, goalless display from turning up outside Pep Guardiola's house and singing You're Beautiful in the small hours.
Kane's relationship with Spurs seems broken. And like a disruptive marriage going through its death throes, both sides are no longer helping. They are hurting each other.
Had they parted ways in the transfer window, they could've behaved like born-again divorcees, splashing the cash on makeovers to impress new partners. Instead, the pair must insist that things will go back to how they once were.
That seems unlikely. Kane hasn't scored in his first four English Premier League appearances for the first time since 2015. So far this season, he has managed only four shots.
The finest English striker finds himself playing a supporting artist to Son Heung-min, thanks to a cautious manager who isn't quite in sync yet with Tottenham's attacking ethos or Kane's natural strengths.
Putting Son at the head of an attacking trio to test the pace of 36-year-old Thiago Silva is a tactical ploy worthy of further investigation, just maybe not against a rampant Chelsea side playing with three at the back and seven on a relentless attacking charge.
Lost among three towering centre-backs, Son looked like the new kid at school, surrounded by bigger bullies. Kane just looked lost.
Late last season, the 28-year-old England captain spoke of his eagerness for a new challenge. The consensus was he was looking for a new club.
Nuno Espirito Santo appears to have interpreted Kane's ambition differently, sticking him with the new challenge of being anonymous as a left-sided midfielder, or a roving No. 10, or anything other than the role that earned Kane a £100 million-plus (S$184.8m) price tag.
A similar comparison might be if Romelu Lukaku dropped off to support Kai Havertz for Chelsea. Or Cristiano Ronaldo playing off Bruno Fernandes for Manchester United. It wouldn't happen.
But the amiable Kane still gives the impression that if Tottenham asked him to help out in the stadium ticket office, he'd grudgingly oblige.
He continues to sacrifice himself for Nuno, dragging his markers wide to create space for Son or Giovani lo Celso, but he neuters himself.
Jimmy Greaves, whose passing was acknowledged at the 3-0 home defeat by Chelsea on Sunday, was the kind of centre forward capable of profiting from such withdrawn positions.
The greatest finisher to wear either a Tottenham or a Chelsea jersey ghosted past defenders with a Messi-like fluidity that isn't in Kane's repertoire.
His domain remains anywhere around the edge of the box and preferably between the posts. Stick him there and he's unbeatable, untouchable.
Shove him to the wilderness of the left wing and he's a £100m ball and chain that doesn't play to his strengths or serve Nuno's plan.
Both Tottenham and Kane are lost in their own mediocrity, dutifully playing out a pantomime involving a round peg and a square hole.
Meanwhile, City drew 0-0 with Southampton. They played Raheem Sterling up front. They never looked like scoring. They managed one shot on target, just to thoroughly ram home the irony for anyone still not paying attention.
A plane flying over the Etihad and pulling a banner that read, "WE NEED KANE", could not have been less subtle. It's only a matter of time, surely, before Kane and Guardiola are sending explicit messages to each other on Tinder.
Lukaku is just the latest example of what happens when a striker switches clubs at the right time. The performances of both are elevated. The giddy optimism is infectious. Trophies should follow.
Kane is an example of what happens when an obvious and mutually beneficial transfer is aborted for hubristic and financial reasons. Everyone loses.
Rather than cash in on a prized asset and regenerate the squad, Spurs are lumbered with a distracted striker in a counter-productive formation.
And Kane is haunted by the prospect of an unfulfilled career.
The transfer window offers potential salvation, either in January or at the end of the season. Otherwise, it's hard to see a happy ending for anyone.
Tottenham, City and Kane will all be left wondering what might have been.