Bayern Munich move fuelled by silverware chase, Harry Kane

AFP , Saturday 12 Aug 2023

Harry Kane has opted to leave Tottenham in search of silverware with Bayern Munich, likely forgoing the chance to achieve Premier League immortality.

File Photo: Tottenham s Harry Kane applauds fans after his team lost 4-3 at the end of an English Premier League soccer match between Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, Sunday, April 30, 2023. AP

Kane has scored 213 Premier League goals, behind only Alan Shearer's 260, and was a near certainty to overtake the Newcastle great if he had stayed in England.

The 30-year-old striker moved ahead of Jimmy Greaves as Tottenham's record scorer last season and also supplanted Wayne Rooney at the top of England's all-time goal list.

But despite his impressive personal milestones, Kane has not won a single trophy with club or country, losing in the 2019 Champions League final and tasting bitter defeat in the final of the delayed Euro 2020.

At German champions Bayern he is almost certain to rectify that, joining a club who are serial winners, domestically and in Europe.

The clean-cut Kane, married to his childhood sweetheart, often feels like a throwback to a different era in the frantic circus that is the English top-flight.

He has been remarkably consistent, passing the 20-goal mark in the Premier league six times and winning the Golden Boot on three occasions.

Kane describes his predatory instincts in front of goal as "natural", adding: "When that ball drops to me my body takes over and my mind is just blank really."

The striker, who joined Tottenham's academy in 2009, struggled to make an impression early in his professional career and many doubted he would ever make it at the highest level.

Even after his breakthrough season in 2014/15, he was dubbed a "one-season wonder", an accusation that has proved laughably wide of the mark.

There were almost two years between Kane's first Spurs goal against Shamrock Rovers in 2011 and his next, against Hull in 2013.

A loan move to second tier Millwall provided a tantalising glimpse of his potential, but the lowest point of his learning curve came during difficult loan spells at Leicester and Norwich in the 2012/13 season.

- Barrage of goals -

Kane failed to score for Norwich and struck just twice for second tier Leicester.

"That was the lowest time. I was 19, living away from home and not playing," he said. "You always have that doubt. If you're not playing there then how are you ever going to play for Tottenham?"

Despite his struggles, Kane later said dealing with the aggressive physical approach of Championship opponents was an important step in his transformation into one of the world's best strikers.

"That happened a lot when I was on loan. One defender said, 'I haven't got a yellow card yet, I'm gonna use it on you'," Kane said.

"The funny thing was that two minutes later we both went up for a header and he ended up winded on the floor. So that made me pretty happy."

Suitably impressed by Kane's drive, Mauricio Pochettino, then in the early days of his successful spell as Tottenham boss, trusted his potential enough to select him regularly in the 2014/15 season.

Kane repaid Pochettino's gamble with a barrage of goals that quickly gained him international recognition.

He scored just seconds into his England debut as a substitute against Lithuania in 2015.

Kane failed to score at Euro 2016 as Roy Hodgson's men crashed out to Iceland in the last 16, but England outstripped expectations at the World Cup in Russia two years later, where Kane became into a global star.

Handed the captaincy by Gareth Southgate, he scored six goals to win the Golden Boot and lead England to the World Cup semi-finals for the first time in 28 years.

Southgate's side came even closer at the European Championship in 2021, where only defeat on penalties to Italy denied them a first major trophy since 1966.

More disappointment followed for Kane and country at last year's World Cup in Qatar.

Normally so reliant from the penalty spot, he fired a vital spot-kick high over the bar in a quarter-final defeat by France.

But he now has the chance to end his trophy drought with German giants Bayern and will hope international glory follows.

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