Lukaku has done it by himself; Kane has had a helping hand

It’s standard fare in the elite level of football that if two players in the same position are playing well, fans will debate over who is better. That’s what’s currently happening with Romelu Lukaku and Harry Kane.

Both have 19 league goals so far this season, putting them ahead of superstars such as Alexis Sanchez, Diego Costa and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Given both are only 23, it is a remarkable achievement and strongly suggests they will be competing at the elite level for a number of years to come.

The question now being asked is which player is better? Well, unlike the Messi or Ronaldo debate, this one is easy to answer; it’s Lukaku.

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Kane has 68 Premier League goals to his name since debuting in the 2013/14 season. Lukaku, in contrast, has 79 since his debut in 2012/13. The fact is, though, they only tell one part of the story.

What those numbers don’t show is the teams that either player was playing for. While Kane has been starring for a very good Tottenham team, Lukaku has found himself playing for West Brom and Everton.

With the Baggies, he finished eighth in the table before a sixth-placed finish with Everton the following year. After that, the Toffees dropped dramatically and finished their last two seasons under Roberto Martinez in eleventh place.

Put it this way, Everton, once top six certainties under David Moyes, finished behind Stoke City for two consecutive seasons.

Despite that, the Belgian’s form did not drop. He finished either campaign with 20 and 25 goals in all competitions.

In the same time, Tottenham have finished fifth, sixth, fifth and then third. If Lukaku was in that team, his record would arguably be even more impressive.

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Service is also a big part of the debate and the staggering difference in quality behind both strikers further emphasises Lukaku’s excellence.

Look at the two key playmakers in either side, Ross Barkley and Christian Eriksen. Since the 2013/14 season, Barkley has managed 19 assists. At Tottenham, Christian Eriksen has picked up 36.

A look at last season further demonstrates the point. Kane had Dele Alli and Erik Lamela providing nine assists each behind Eriksen’s 15. Lukaku had Gerard Deulofeu with nine and then occupied third spot himself.

Whether Tottenham fans like it or not, Kane has had much more help reaching his total than Lukaku has and that should be the deciding factor.

Let’s not take anything away from either player, they’re both performing superbly week in, week out and deserve the plaudits coming their way.

However, this evidence shows Lukaku is clearly the better player for one simple reason; he’s been doing it on his own for a number of years. For that reason alone, he wins this head-to-head battle and puts an end to the debate.