Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium will be empty when Tottenham visit on Sunday afternoon.
But if fans were in attendance, you can guarantee the words “Harry Kane, he’s one of our own” would be reverberating around the away end.
The Tottenham captain, 27, has been with the club since he was just 11-years-old and has become one of their greatest ever players.
But things could have been very different.
The North London Derby inevitably sees the infamous pictures dug up, Kane twice pictured wearing an Arsenal shirt whilst he was a young boy.
This is the story behind Kane’s time at Arsenal and the infamous pictures that followed.
Kane grew up just minutes away from White Hart Lane and took his first steps in football with local side Ridgeway Rovers.
“Most of my family were Spurs fans and I grew up 15 minutes from the ground, so I was always going to be a Spurs fan,” he later revealed.
But it was Arsenal who handed him his first big chance at the age of eight as he joined their academy.
It was in the academy that he was pictured in a team photo, whilst another picture later surfaced of him wearing an Arsenal kit at their 2004 trophy parade alongside a friend.
“I wanted to wear a Tottenham kit but I don’t think that would’ve gone down to well,” Kane claimed.
“I was eight-years-old. I was at Arsenal for a year and obviously I was a kid, I just wanted to play football.
“I’ve been at Spurs since I was 11-years-old, always loved the club. I’ve been here 10 years and hopefully many more years to come.”
After just a year at the Arsenal academy, Kane was infamously released.
Years later, Arsenal legend Liam Brady, who was the Gunners’ academy director at the time, told Italian publication Corriere della Sera: “He was a bit chubby, he wasn’t very athletic but we made a mistake.”
It was a mistake which left Arsene Wenger “a bit angry” when he found out one of the world’s best strikers had slipped through the net.
“I didn’t know, I read it in the papers,” Wenger said. “I found it quite funny, you know, and you are always a bit angry as well because I asked: ‘Why did he go?’ But at that age, boys can move here and there.”
Kane’s coach at the time, Roy Massey, opened up last year on exactly why he was released.
“He played up front with Benik Afobe and you think today, Benik was outstandingly quick and scored a lot of goals,” he told Football.London.
“Harry was a technician, a very talented player but did lack some mobility and pace.
“We did think, perhaps he wouldn’t be quite up to playing at Arsenal Football Club. So I had to sit down with his mum and dad, and the lad, and say that he wasn’t quite up to the standard of Arsenal.”
Understandably, the response from the Kane family was one of disappointment.
“Obviously they were very disappointed and so was I, because he was a really nice lad,” Massey said.
“He’s a top lad in terms of attitude but lacked a little bit of agility and pace basically and that’s why he was released.”
Kane has also explained how his release from Arsenal left him with a “chip on his shoulder” when he next faced the club that let him go.
It has remained to this day and will be present again when the two sides meet this weekend.
“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,” Kane recalled.
“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. 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.”
Kane has come back to haunt Arsenal on several occasions, and he has been a crucial element in Spurs finishing above their local rivals in each of the past four Premier League seasons.
Arsenal could be forgiven for holding regret for what occurred, but Massey insists it is simply part and parcel of the game.
“That was Tottenham’s gain and Arsenal’s loss that one. Oh, what a wonderful player today,” he reflected.
“But we haven’t got a crystal ball and there’s a number in that situation at Arsenal who’ve left and who’ve gone on and done very well for themselves. Harry was obviously a brilliant example.
“All I can say is, to our defence, nobody else at the club said ‘What are you doing letting Harry Kane go for?’. Nobody ever said that so everybody must have agreed with it, but at the same time no other club took him on.
“It took him three years to play Sunday football with his local squad before he was strong enough and quick enough to start scoring goals and Tottenham saw him play. The rest is history.”
A part of that history is the two photos of Kane in an Arsenal kit from which he will never escape.
But it is the Gunners who cannot escape from the impact of the one that got away and the way he has transformed their north London rivals.