Manuel Neuer hails 'phenomenon' Harry Kane for brilliant start with Bayern Munich

AP , Thursday 9 Nov 2023

England captain Harry Kane has made a brilliant start in Germany, where 15 goals in 10 Bundesliga games have matched another Bayern Munich great’s league record.

Bayern Munich s German goalkeeper #01 Manuel Neuer (C) warms up prior to the UEFA Champions League Group A football match between FC Bayern Munich and Galatasaray AS in Munich, southern Germany on November 8, 2023. AFP


Gerd Müller is the only other player to have scored so many after the first 10 rounds, a feat he managed in the 1968-69 season.

Kane, who joined Bayern in a Bundesliga-record transfer from Tottenham in the offseason, reached Müller’s tally with hat tricks in consecutive games – first against Darmstadt in an 8-0 rout, then against Borussia Dortmund as he helped his team to a 4-0 win in “der Klassiker” last weekend.

He also starred in the Champions League, scoring twice Wednesday to shoot Bayern into the next round with a 2-1 win over Galatasaray.

“He's a phenomenon and we're proud that he's playing for us in the team,” Bayern captain Manuel Neuer said.

The question now is whether Kane can maintain his form and possibly beat Robert Lewandowski’s Bundesliga record of 41 goals in a season. The Poland star, now playing for Barcelona, managed that feat for Bayern by scoring in the last minute on the final day of the 2020-21 season, when he finally beat the previous best-mark of 40 goals scored by Müller in 1971-72.

Kane is already on his way to beating both.

The 30-year-old player is assisted by the likes of Leroy Sané and Jamal Musiala, who are benefiting too from his presence – as coach Thomas Tuchel predicted before the season. Kane has set up five goals for his Bayern teammates in the Bundesliga and two in the Champions League.

Kane’s movement and anticipation, unselfish play, and leadership qualities are all helping the team.

“I said at the beginning that Harry as a personality, as a fixed point, as a character will make the players around him better through the way he plays, through his presence,” Tuchel said.

Tottenham has had to adjust the way it plays since his departure.

“I don’t think you can replace Harry, like-for-like. Another one of him doesn’t exist,” Tottenham coach Ange Postecoglou said.

But Kane’s goals haven’t propelled Bayern to the top of the table – not yet at least.

The Bavarian powerhouse trails Bayer Leverkusen by two points going into the 11th round. Kane will get a chance to build on his tally when promoted Heidenheim visits for the first time in the league on Saturday.

Leverkusen hosts Union Berlin on Sunday.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

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