Last week Tottenham fans vociferously asked an absent Harry Kane whether he was watching their victory over Manchester City. Seven days on, the forward was back in the shirt he has worn with such distinction and was being serenaded by a much more familiar song.
Kane, whose potential transfer to Pep Guardiola’s side has dominated the headlines this summer, did not feature in new boss Nuno Espirito Santo’s opening two squads – that Premier League win over the champions and a Europa Conference League defeat by Pacos de Ferreira.
News broke early on Sunday that the England captain was travelling with his Spurs team-mates to their game against Wolves.
On arrival he was booed, though this time it was the home fans at Molineux who vented their feelings.
Nuno chose to name Kane on the substitutes’ bench and, with Spurs leading 1-0 thanks to Dele Alli’s early penalty but coming under increasing pressure, the manager called him to replace Son Heung-min in the 72nd minute.
The home supporters seized on the opportunity to taunt their Spurs counterparts with songs about him wanting to ‘play for a big club’ and becoming ‘a Manc in the morning’.
But Tottenham fans responded with ‘Harry Kane, he’s one of our own’, the chant that has accompanied Kane since he established himself in the senior side seven years ago.
The 28-year-old helped ease Wolves’ dominance with some smart hold-up play – making 13 of his 14 touches and eight of his 10 passes inside the opposition half – and could have doubled the visitors’ lead but for a good stop from goalkeeper Jose Sa.
“He is getting back to his fitness,” Nuno told BBC Sport. “He still has to improve and he helped the team today. He was a big help for us.
“We are talking one of the best players in the world – we are very, very lucky to have him.”
Kane was booked for time wasting as Spurs looked to see out the game and then went to applaud the travelling fans after the final whistle, before hugging boss Nuno.
“He did well, he helped the team and he had a good chance,” added the Portuguese. “Harry’s still in the process of increasing and improving his level of fitness.
“He is one of the best players in the world and you could see the way he helped the team in terms of possession – fine lines.”
‘Maybe we buy, maybe not’ – Guardiola
Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy has said Kane is not for sale, but reports suggest a bid of more than £150m could be enough to lure the striker to the Etihad Stadium.
City have already spent a British record £100m to sign playmaker Jack Grealish from Aston Villa, but are light on central striking options after Sergio Aguero joined Barcelona on a free transfer.
“When we decide to not sign a contract for Aguero and people say what we’re going to do, I said many times it’ll depend on the market, the options,” said Guardiola.
“Maybe we buy or maybe we’ll not. We still have 10 days in the transfer market, we’re going to see what happens and it depends on that, what decision we are going to take.”
Guardiola’s side responded to their 1-0 opening defeat at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium with a 5-0 victory over Norwich City on Saturday.
“If the team is the same one, I said before the 5-0, I’m more than pleased with the team. I know them really well, they know me really well,” added Guardiola.
“I’ve never complained since I arrived day one, I will not do it now, but of course the club has an obligation, the duty to look forward, to get better, to feel we can still be there with a tough Premier League – and this is what we are going to do.”