Too much expected too soon from Harry Kane
Hodgson must give England prospect time to flourish instead of throwing him into the deep end
Another starlet shows signs of blossoming, and again England gets whipped into a frenzy.
In a matter of months, Harry Kane has turned from a nobody to the country's next big thing.
At the moment, he's flying in the clouds and dining with the gods.
Six goals in his last seven matches, and 17 in total in all competitions, have seen him elevated to the brink of an England call-up.
"Harry has come on in leaps and bounds," said Three Lions gaffer Roy Hodgson, whose side face their next test in late March, a European Championship qualifier against Lithuania.
But here's where the danger lurks.
It's a fine line that separates the acts of over-hyping and acknowledging talent.
Kane, 21, is young and talented, but he's not yet the finished product. And history has shown that only a select few go on to fulfil potential as vast as Kane's.
Hodgson's willingness to look beyond established names is admirable but, in doing so, he also inadvertently thrusts greenhorns into the limelight, sometimes prematurely.
If he does indeed recruit Kane into his line-up, it has to be an exercise in equipping him with exposure and experience, but nothing more.
Cautionary tales abound in a nation proud of its footballing history, but chronically starved of talents.
Andy Carroll was a swashbuckling Newcastle striker firing on all cylinders when he made his England debut in 2010, also at the age of 21.
Despite a promising start, he never developed into the next Alan Shearer.
Winger Andros Townsend made a spectacular entrance into the England fold two years ago, scoring a superb long-range goal in a 4-1 victory over Montenegro, but he's now struggling to cement a first-11 spot at Spurs.
For every Shearer, there are plenty more Francis Jeffers-es and James Beatties.
Sir Alex Ferguson, during his time as Manchester United manager, was known for going to great lengths to protect his best young players and taking his time with them. Ryan Giggs and Cristiano Ronaldo are perhaps the two best examples.
He once said: "If you take someone of Cristiano's age to the well too many times, you end up with a tired old horse."
But it's also easy to see why Kane is so highly prized.
His industry, invention and incisiveness are a potent mix.
Against Manchester United last month, he slipped in a through-ball to teammate Ryan Mason so sublime, that Mason's subsequent botched finish looked jarringly amateurish.
Then his exquisite display in Spurs' 5-3 win over league leaders Chelsea on New Year's Day, during which he netted two goals and set up another, demonstrated his clinical finishing and an appetite for the big occasion.
As a target man, he may have much to offer to his country.
Danny Welbeck and Daniel Sturridge's abilities to perform in wide roles mean that Kane can slot into his most effective central position, with Wayne Rooney operating as the second striker behind him.
Even in any other formation that Hodgson may fancy, Kane looks a good fit. Because, for years, England have been crying out for an out-and-out striker they can rely on.
In theory, that is.
What Kane has done is to set the Premiership alight for half a season.
But ability, durability and consistency take much longer to prove.
What Hodgson must do is to take his time with Kane, and not take a chance on him.
KANE MORE THAN ABLE
Roy Hodgson should select someone he thinks is going to be there for the long haul. Kane has the best chance. He has an all-round game which is a cut above the rest.
— Former England striker Alan Shearer
Kane has been fantastic. He’s improved week upon week and has been a real revelation. He’s got a bit of everything. He leads the line well, he can be a target man, he works his socks off, he gets in good areas and he can score goals.
— Former Tottenham attacker Darren Anderton
HARRY KANE FACTFILE
Born: July 28, 1993 (21 years old)
Joined Tottenham: July 1, 2009
BY THE NUMBERS
Harry Kane has the best minutes-per-goal ratio (148.6) of any Spurs striker in Premier League history.
Kane’s goals have won more Premier League points (12) than any other player this season.