Harry Kane: Being rejected by Arsenal is the best thing that ever happened to me
The England striker joined Tottenham after being released by their arch-rivals at the age of eight.
Harry Kane has admitted he had a “chip on his shoulder” after he was released by Arsenal – but described their decision to reject him as the “best thing that ever happened to me”.
Kane, who reached 100 Premier League goals for Tottenham with his dramatic injury-time penalty against Liverpool on Sunday night, was released by Arsenal’s academy when he was aged only eight.
But the England international bounced back from the early rejection in his career to become the talisman for Arsenal’s fierce rivals Spurs.
Speaking ahead of Saturday’s north London derby at Wembley, Kane said: “I remember the first time we played against Arsenal [for Tottenham’s academy team] and even back then, I had a chip on my shoulder.
“It might sound ridiculous. I was only eight when they let me go, but every time we played them, I thought, ‘Alright, we’ll see who’s right and who’s wrong’.
“Looking back on it now, [being released by Arsenal] was probably the best thing that ever happened to me because it gave me a drive that wasn’t there before.
“For me, the rejection is the best thing that ever happened to me.”
Kane scored a brace for Tottenham in his first senior appearance against Arsenal in a 2-1 victory back in 2015.
The forward, who was writing for The Players’ Tribune, added: “I remember walking round the pitch after the final whistle and clapping to the fans and it felt like, ‘well, I told you so’.
“We were in the tunnel, and I thought, ‘Okay took me 12 years, but we’ll see who was right and who was wrong.”
“I scored two that day, and the winner in the 86th minute was something that I’d never even dream of visualising before a match.
“It was a header — probably the best header I’ve ever scored — and that feeling when it hit the back of the net, I’ve never felt a rush like that in my whole career.”
Kane’s impressive streak of form for Tottenham in recent years has seen him linked with big-money moves to the likes of Real Madrid and Manchester United.
But the 24-year-old insists he remains motivated by winning the Premier League for Tottenham.
“I dreamed of playing for Spurs since I was a boy,” Kane added. “For a long time my motivation was simply to close my eyes and picture myself scoring against Arsenal in the Premier League.
“[I’ve] done that a few times now, and it never gets old. But now, my motivation is a bit different.
“Now, I close my eyes and I picture myself lifting the Premier League trophy at our new stadium with my mates. I’d trade the next 100 goals for that feeling.”