Despite Bayern Munich’s issues, Harry Kane is experiencing his best season

The England captain is enjoying one of the most prolific seasons of his career despite the issues his club faces in Munich.

Harry Kane
Harry Kane

The striker may not secure any trophies in his debut season at Bayern, but his goal statistics rank among the best in European football history.

Harry Kane faced mockery on social media following his first appearance for Bayern Munich. Coming off the bench in the 63rd minute of the German Super Cup, he had three touches but no opportunity to score as RB Leipzig clinched a 3-0 victory over Bayern.

While Leipzig proved to be a formidable opponent, and despite Kane being in Germany for less than 72 hours, it felt like a cruel twist of fate for the England captain to join a club expected to dominate all domestic competitions, only to immediately become part of the team that lost the final.

However, the defeat was not Kane’s fault. Bayern were already trailing 0-2 when he entered the field, and Dani Olmo’s penalty in the 68th minute was unrelated to the former Tottenham player. Nonetheless, he became an easy target for internet trolls, with the echoes of Spurs’ misfortunes seeming to follow him across the continent.

Despite Bayern’s subsequent struggles with injuries and setbacks, Kane has been the shining light, preventing them from a complete downfall. He has netted 31 goals in the Bundesliga and added another six in the Champions League, with his assists reaching double digits.

While memes may continue and social media will persist, Kane’s exceptional season deserves recognition as one of the best in European football.

Impeccable goalkeeping stats

Harry Kane’s goal-scoring prowess has always been exceptional. With 213 Premier League goals for Spurs, he was on track to surpass Alan Shearer’s record of 260 goals before his move to Bayern Munich. He exceeded the 20-goal mark in the Premier League six times, including a remarkable 30-goal campaign in his final season in England.

Since joining the Bundesliga, Kane has proven himself just as prolific. Despite facing initial irony for his debut performance, he quickly silenced doubters with his outstanding performance in the league. With 31 goals in 26 games and seven assists, he has far exceeded expectations, surpassing his expected goal tally of 24.5 by a significant margin.

While his numbers in European competitions may not be as impressive, with six goals in eight appearances and three assists, Kane’s impact in the Bundesliga is undeniable. He became England’s top scorer in a Bundesliga season in just three months. Recent performances include a hat-trick against Mainz on March 9th and a goal plus an assist against Darmstadt on March 16th. If he maintains his current form, Kane is on track to comfortably exceed 50 points in all competitions.

Pulling Bayern to victories

Kane’s impact goes beyond scoring goals; he has proven himself in crucial moments, a trait for which he has been criticized. Historically, he has been questioned for his performances in high-pressure situations, such as his subdued display in the Euro 2020 final and missed penalty at the 2022 World Cup.

However, this season with Bayern Munich, Kane has shown a remarkable ability to deliver when it matters most. In the Champions League group stage opener against Manchester United, he scored to secure a 4-3 victory. He also found the net in a crucial 2-2 draw with league leaders Bayer Leverkusen and scored twice against Lazio in the Champions League round 16, giving Bayern a significant advantage.

Notably, Harry Kane has registered hat-tricks against Borussia Dortmund, Darmstadt, Bochum, and Mainz, further solidifying his importance to the team. Even in Bayern’s 0-3 defeat to Leverkusen in February, when the team struggled, Kane cannot be faulted for his performance. Despite manager Tuchel’s criticism of Kane’s involvement in the game, it was evident that when Bayern needed a star player, Kane consistently rose to the occasion.

Chasing Lewandowski’s record

Robert Lewandowski delivered a historic performance in the 2020/21 season, setting a Bundesliga record with 41 goals in just 29 games. He averaged a goal every 60 minutes domestically and every 103 minutes in the Champions League. Despite his exceptional season, he finished second to Lionel Messi in the Ballon d’Or voting, a surprising outcome given his remarkable achievements.

Now, Harry Kane has emerged as a contender. The English striker is scoring at a similar rate to Lewandowski’s record-breaking season. If he maintains his current pace, Kane could match Lewandowski’s goal tally by the end of the season.

However, as the season enters its final weeks and Bayern Munich’s title hopes fade, there may be fewer restrictions on their attacking play. Under new management and with the pressure of the title race lifted, Bayern could unleash their frustrations on their opponents, much like they did in their 8-1 victory over Mainz.

In such scenarios, Kane is poised to shine. If Bayern continues to produce dominant performances, Kane will likely play a pivotal role in their success.

The Golden Boot is almost guaranteed

Outside of Germany, Harry Kane’s performance this season is unmatched in Europe. Kane has never clinched the European Golden Boot despite his previous successful seasons. The Premier League has always provided tough competition, with players like Robert Lewandowski, Erling Haaland, Lionel Messi, and others keeping him out of serious contention.

However, this season is different. Kane is leading the charge with 31 goals in league games, eight more than second-placed Lautaro Martinez of Inter and nine more than third-placed Stuttgart forward Serhou Guirassy. Meanwhile, Kylian Mbappe has 21 goals, and Haaland trails even further behind with 18.

If Harry Kane maintains or improves his current scoring rate, he will finish the campaign with the highest goal total to win the Golden Boot since Cristiano Ronaldo scored 48 goals in the 2014/15 season.

While Bayern Munich may not match Kane’s individual output with team results, he is poised to add a few more individual trophies to his collection in what could be a historic campaign.

Kane’s curse

There appears to be a recurring pattern of unfortunate timing in Harry Kane’s career. Each time he achieves a significant milestone, some external factor diverts attention away from his accomplishments.

During the 2017/18 season, Kane scored an impressive 30 goals for Tottenham in the league, averaging a goal every 103 minutes. 

His performance in the Champions League was even more remarkable, with a goal scored every 85 minutes. However, his success was overshadowed by Mohamed Salah’s emergence at Liverpool, who scored 32 league goals and 44 goals in all competitions.

A similar scenario unfolded last season, as Kane netted 30 goals, only to be outshone by Erling Haaland, who set a record with 36 goals during his debut campaign at Manchester City.

In a broader context, there’s a prevailing perception that Kane was never part of a team capable of competing for trophies that matched his individual talents. Tottenham consistently hovered on the fringes of the elite, representing the best of the upper-middle class of Premier League teams.

Ironically, Kane finds himself in this season’s struggling Bayern team. The Bavarians have conceded too many easy goals and failed to dominate matches as expected, making them vulnerable to defeat. While this might not have been a significant issue in most Bundesliga seasons, the emergence of Xabi Alonso’s Leverkusen team has left Bayern trailing behind their title rivals.

It seems unlikely that Bayern will clinch the Bundesliga title in 2024, leaving Kane without a trophy for another year. The talented striker appears to be repeating history.

There is still hope

However, amidst all the talk of curses and scrutiny over goal-scoring records, Harry Kane still has the potential to lead Bayern to victory under the most improbable circumstances.

Bayer currently leads the Bundesliga with a 10-point advantage and nine games remaining, but Bayern appears to have regained its competitive edge. Considering Leverkusen’s historical tendency to falter in favorable situations, a stumble after the international break is not entirely implausible.

There’s also the possibility of winning the Champions League. While Manchester City and Real Madrid are undoubtedly stronger teams in contention, a favorable draw in the quarter-finals could propel Harry Kane’s team forward.

Despite the criticism rightly directed at departing coach Tuchel in recent months, he remains a tactically astute manager capable of delivering results in crucial matches.

For Kane, however, this season should not be defined by the matches Bayern fails to win or the trophies they miss out on. Instead, it should be celebrated as a campaign in which an already world-class player demonstrated that he still possesses immense talent and has much to offer football.

Time Soccerhttps://www.timesoccer.co
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