Harry Kane has enjoyed a sensational start to his Bayern Munich career and is already racking up records, goals and assists. bundesliga.com takes a look at the England captain’s impact on the record German champions since his summer move from Tottenham Hotspur.
Did you really have to wonder whether Kane would settle in well at Bayern? His arrival was greeted joyously by Bayern fans who saw in him the long-awaited like-for-like replacement for Robert Lewandowski. They’re weren’t wrong.
But it wasn’t the welcome the fans gave Kane that ensured he would settle, rather the welcome he gave to those at the club.
“Of course I’d shake hands with people I meet here,” Kane said after spending much of his first days at the club greeting the 300 employees based at the Säbener Strasse training base. “That’s just my personality. We’re all part of the same team – and all deserve the same respect. That will never change in my life.”
Watch: Harry Kane’s first day at Bayern
The ‘Servus’ – the typical Bavarian ‘Hi’ – he gave the media at his unveiling also displayed the character of the 30-year-old; given that, along with the quality he has already shown over the last decade, the fact he has hit the ground running (and scoring) will raise no eyebrows.
You do wonder what Kane must have thought though as he watched from the bench for much of the 3-0 defeat to RB Leipzig in the Supercup, barely hours after putting pen to paper on his Bayern contract.
“I feel sorry for Harry,” said coach Thomas Tuchel. “He’s going to think we’ve not trained for a month.” The former Mainz, Borussia Dortmund, PSG and Chelsea coach added: “Against Werder Bremen [on Matchday 1], he’s going to start from the very first minute.”
Tuchel was as good as his word, and Kane doesn’t seem to have held his disaster debut against his new teammates. After Matchday 5, the 26 minutes he featured against Leipzig and the 90 he played in the Matchday 3 defeat of Borussia Mönchengladbach are the only ones where he has finished goalless.
“We have exactly the player we need, with the personality of the way he plays, in Harry Kane,” Tuchel said recently. “We try to get him more involved in our game and this is going to be an absolute success story. We have the perfect striker for us and we are more than happy with him.” Hardly surprising, Kane’s hat-trick in the 7-0 win against Bochum on Matchday 5 made it seven goals in five Bundesliga appearances.
Watch: All Kane’s Bundesliga goals so far
That scale of that instant return on their investment may even have surprised the Bayern bosses, despite Kane’s club record 280 goals in 435 games for Tottenham Hotspur. Doubts over whether he would immediately settle in Germany were, however, not totally without foundation.
“I think the first few days were definitely a bit strange,” said Kane, whose family have remained in England for the moment following the birth of their fourth child in late August. “Going into a new training ground, going into a new stadium, meeting new teammates, wearing a different kit, all these things were a totally new experience for me so definitely a little bit of that pressure and that butterflies you feel.”
He had been at Spurs since he was 11, but in addition to having matured, he has also had help. A good number of the Bayern squad speak English – Jamal Musiala grew up in England but was born in Germany – and Kane has even been able to continue his love affair with golf, striding out on the fairway with teammate Thomas Müller.
But it’s Kane’s football ability that has ensured things have gone so smoothly. “I think our other attacking players will benefit from playing with him, because he’s not just a forward who takes chances. He’s also someone who can set up others,” said midfielder Joshua Kimmich.
“Overall, he improves our play a lot, because he’s a player who can link up as well as finish.” His three assists already attest to an altruism that former Hamburg and Bayer Leverkusen man Heung-min Son – Kane’s former teammate at Spurs – knows all about, while the impact of Mathys Tel this season suggests the Englishman’s aura is enough to inspire his teammates to take the next step or three.
“I was very happy he arrived. He’s a world-class forward. When I was younger, I used him on FIFA,” said Tel, 18, who has nine goal involvements already this season, including his superb strike in the win over Bochum, teed up by Kane. “His mentality is impressive. He stays calm, he’s sure of himself. Of course he has a reputation, I’m just making mine. But I’m ambitious, I’m determined.”
If Kane’s attitude and professionalism have inspired Tel, he seems to have struck up a particularly potent partnership with Leroy Sané. The former Schalke and Manchester City man has hit four goals already – two from Kane assists, his first coming just four minutes into the season-opener against Bremen courtesy of a pass from his new English teammate.
“Leroy speaks fluent English, he communicates a lot with Harry. Harry makes his teammates better, with his character, his style,” said Tuchel. “Leroy is in very good form, with good body language and a very good mindset. Both are combining very well at the moment.”
Tuchel too has had his part to play. “He’s a really good guy and has great ideas about how we want to play,” said Kane of his new boss. “Our relationship is good, and I think it will continue to develop over time as we get to know each other better. He is one of the top coaches in the world and pushes me – and all the other players – to improve.”
And the feeling is mutual. “He is absolutely impressive and makes every teammate better,” said Tuchel after Kane’s Bundesliga debut in the 4-0 win in Bremen in which he scored his first Bayern goal as well as registering the assist for Sané. “Harry knows what has to be done, and plays with incredible precision.”
Remind you of anyone who used to wear the Bayern number 9 shirt? Perhaps Kane’s impact is felt most in that, more than the goals and the assists, he is the player the team have needed since Lewandowski’s departure after eight years at the Allianz Arena for Barcelona in summer 2022, an almost carbon-copy of the Poland international.
In the front line, Bayern had been missing the ability of the Bundesliga’s record non-German marksman to not only find the net and help others do so, but also his knack for knitting together the attack. Bringing others into play, being able to drop deep to get the ball, providing an outlet with a velvet first touch, and a first line of defence out of possession: Kane brings all those too.
“He played a different role in a half position today,” Tuchel said following Kane’s scoring UEFA Champions League debut for Bayern against Manchester United. “He was asked to turn and assist and find space on the wings. He was more involved in the second half, much like the whole team who were more fluid. He had some chances that he took and he scored a very important penalty to have a two-goal lead after just conceding.”
His penalty against Bochum wasn’t quite so important given his team’s domination of the Matchday 5 encounter, but his hat-trick – the fourth scored by an Englishman in the German top flight – does mean he has now scored more times than any other player in the opening five games of their Bayern career, and only ex-Borussia Dortmund forward Erling Haaland has ever had a more prolific start in Bundesliga history. Worryingly for opponents, he’s nowhere near ready to settle for that.
“I’m the type of person [where] there’s always something you can get better at and there’s always ways to get better so that’ll be my mindset for the rest of my career,” he said. “I’m delighted I can help the team with my goals. I’m happy and getting to know the team better and better. Today [against Bochum] was a superb example of that. Hopefully I’ll get a few more goals.”
A few more goals is the least everyone at Bayern expects of their record signing, where the No.9 shirt isn’t only synonymous with Lewandowski, but also Gerd Müller – the Bundesliga’s all-time top scorer. Kane’s first few weeks in Munich saw a new landmark unveiled in the city with a statue of Müller outside the Allianz Arena. Yet another reminder of the boots he has to fill, but Kane is fully aware of the size of them.
Watch: Gerd Müller – the Bundesliga’s record goalscorer
“I wanted to find out what he was like and how he played,” the England captain said of having watched footage of Der Bomber on YouTube. “He was an incredible goalscorer, and from what I hear, above all an incredible person. For me to follow in his footsteps is very special.”
So far in his still very young Bundesliga career, Kane has surpassed Müller with seven goals – plus three assists – after five games, compared to Gerd’s five goals. The target to beat from Müller’s maiden Bundesliga campaign is 14. With another 29 fixtures to go – starting with Saturday’s trip to title rivals Leipzig – and a minutes-per-goal ratio of 63, the real question is: by just how much will Kane surpass that total? Needless to say it’ll be more than just “a few”. Could Müller’s personal record of 40 – or even Lewandowski’s all-time benchmark of 41 – even be under threat?
Being the first to get updated on every Bundesliga goal is as easy as:
- Download the Bundesliga app
- Choose your favourite club
- Get the fastest push notifications, including goals, live data and line-ups!