THE BLOG
20/03/2015 13:17 GMT | Updated 20/05/2015 06:59 BST

Kane and Berahino: Assessing England's Newest Stars of the Future

Harry Kane has enjoyed an incredible breakout season in 2014/15. He has already matched Gareth Bale's goal tally from two years ago and at just 21-years-old is set to become the first Tottenham player to hit 30 goals in a single campaign since Gary Lineker.

Of Kane's 26 goals so far, 16 have come in the Premier League - only two less than Diego Costa - making him the leading English marksman. He's scored more times than established England internationals Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck and Daniel Sturridge.

Not far behind is another young English (Burundian-born) striker, Saido Berahino, who is also wowing audiences after bursting onto the scene at West Brom last season.

Both players look to have tremendous attributes and have earned glowing praise for their performances in recent months - together they have been billed by many as the future of English goalscoring.

Kane would certainly look to be the more 'ready' of the two. He is more physically developed and has had a greater impact in domestic and European football. Earlier this season, he had a devastating role as Spurs humbled Chelsea 5-3 and then went on to to bag a brace in the north London derby against Arsenal.

Not obviously technically skilled, Kane has drawn significant comparisons with Alan Shearer for his shooting ability and apparent desire to score goals. Former Spurs coach Les Ferdinand can also see the kind of footballing intelligence that characterised Teddy Sheringham's glittering career, making up for a lack of natural athleticism and pace.

What makes him different is a real drive to succeed and earlier this year Ferdinand commented, "For me, the quality that made him stand out as a youngster was this incredible self-belief."

He certainly worked hard to get where he is now, passed on by Arsenal as a youngster precisely because he didn't have the raw physical and technical skills of other players his age. He joined Tottenham at 11, but Kane spent his early years as a professional farmed out on loan to Football League clubs and was far from a fan favourite among the White Hart Lane even 12 months ago.

Lots of young footballers have been through hardship in their early life, but few have had to overcome quite so much as Berahino. The West Brom star fled war-torn Burundi at the age of 10 to join several other members of his family who had already been granted asylum in Birmingham.

He spoke little English and was forced to leave his friends behind in Africa. Upon arriving he was made to live in a care home while immigration staff verified with DNA tests that his mother was indeed his mother. But despite his difficult start to life, the young Berahino was a natural with a football, having learned to play with scrunched and tied plastic bags on the streets of Bujumbura.

It's those skills which have served Berahino so well in his professional career. Shortly after scoring a sensational winner against Manchester United - his favourite boyhood team - at Old Trafford in September 2013, the youngster revealed how he studies Samuel Eto'o, Didier Drogba and Jermain Defoe because of their elusive movement and lethal finishing.

Former Baggies manager Alan Irvine was careful not to put too much pressure on his young star, treating him in a similar to fashion to how he treated a teenage Wayne Rooney during his time at Everton. But this season Berahino has taken himself to a new level.

Watching such greats has clearly paid off and his finishing has often been technically flawless. He's scored a number of excellent goals from a whole variety of angles and ranges and his recent goal against Aston Villa, a header inside the six yard box, was his 18th of the season in all competitions.

But for all his natural ability - and he has has much more of it than Kane - Berahino still has plenty of mental maturing to do - his arrest for drink driving would point to that - whereas Kane seems much more grounded and able to cope with the distraction and demands of being a famous footballer.

With his more limited technical ability, Kane has to make sure that defenders don't 'figure him out' next season, otherwise he could be a one-hit wonder. His football brain and insatiable desire have got him this far though and will at least always give the Spurs man a chance to stay one step ahead of his opponents.

Berahino has all the tools to be a superstar, the only thing that threatens to hold him back is himself. He needs discipline, but in the first three months of 2015 has already shown he is capable of growing - now he just needs to stay on the straight and narrow.

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