Harry Kane applauds the Bayern fans after the striker hit a brace on his first home Bundesliga appearance. - © IMAGO/Ulmer/Teamfoto
Harry Kane applauds the Bayern fans after the striker hit a brace on his first home Bundesliga appearance. - © IMAGO/Ulmer/Teamfoto

Harry Kane, the perfect tactical fit for Bayern Munich


Harry Kane is quickly proving to be exactly the player Bayern Munich needed after the formidable forward added to his Bundesliga tally with a double against Augsburg.

Kane became Bayern's record signing when he joined from Tottenham Hotspur, although his competitive debut didn't go to plan as Thomas Tuchel's side were beaten 3-0 by RB Leipzig in the Supercup.

Kane was only a 64th-minute substitute having arrived in Munich that same morning, but a couple of weeks on and he is already in full flow at the record champions. Any doubts the sceptics might have had were swept away with a blistering performance in Bayern's 4-0 Matchday 1 win against Werder Bremen, in which England's all-time top scorer weighed in with a goal and an assist. 

How may I assist you?

Kane helped get the ball rolling at the Weser Stadion - quite literally - on 18 August, slipping Leroy Sane through for a fourth-minute opener against Bremen, and added his own name to the scoresheet in the 74th minute, latching onto Alphonso Davies' pass before sending Jiri Pavlenka the wrong way.

Watch: Harry Kane - tactical analysis

The England captain made way for Mathys Tel to a standing ovation six minutes from time, and although his Bundesliga career is still young, what followed the weekend after had Bayern fans rubbing their hands together at the possibilities of what lies ahead.

Back to Bremen, and Joshua Kimmich noted of Bayern's new man, "He's very good for our game because he's a player who can both finish and put the other players in the limelight. 

Kimmich: 'other players will benefit'

"I think our other attacking players will benefit a lot from Harry because he's not a striker who just finishes, but also sets the stage for the others, as we saw with Leroy's goal.

"He'll give the others more space because the opponents have to focus on him due to his huge quality. Overall, he will do us a lot of good." 

Watch: Kane reflects on a perfect Bundesliga introduction

Fast forward to the following Sunday and Bayern closed out Matchday 2 with a tricky Bavarian derby encounter at home to Augsburg. After a Felix Uduokhai own goal opened the deadlock for the hosts, it was the Harry Kane show from then on. 

Bayern's No. 9 coolly slotted home a first-half penalty kick before applying a sublime finish to Alphonso Davies's assist to put the game beyong Augsburg, who eventually went down 3-1. 

Kane plugs an obvious gap in the Bayern attack that has been there for 12 months since goal-machine Robert Lewandowski left for Barcelona - as admirably as Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting performed in the position last term. 

Choupo-Moting provided 10 goals and two assists for Bayern in the Bundesliga last season at a rate of one every 93 minutes he played. Lewandowski's eight seasons had returned 238 goals and 45 assists at a rate of one every 75 minutes, meanwhile.

A maker and taker par excellence 

Statistical praise is highly merited for Kane's three goals and one assist in his Bundesliga career so far - his goal involvement now standing at one every 43.5 minutes. His Tottenham numbers were obviously hugely encouraging, too, and for more than one reason.

Kane scored 213 Premier League goals and laid on another 50 following his Spurs debut in 2012, giving him a highly respectable 102 minutes per goal-contribution. Less than Lewandowski's, perhaps, but consider that while Bayern won the Bundesliga in each of the Pole's eight seasons, Tottenham finished fifth, third, second, third, fourth, sixth, seventh and fourth in England.

England and Tottenham's record goalscorer, Kane is suitably prolific to fill Lewandowski's golden boots, but he also provides an inordinate amount. Last season, Choupo-Moting set up just two goals. He has never hauled double digits in that regard. Provisions were shared among the team, led by Jamal Musiala (10), Thomas Müller (eight) and Sane (seven).

Whilst Kane and Lewandowski before him are takers first, the former can make, perhaps in excess of his predecessor. Four seasons ago, Lewandowski laid on 10 for Bayern in an unusually giving campaign. Just three years ago, Kane assisted 14 as Tottenham finished fourth.

A leading No.9

Then there is Bayern's preferred tactical set-up. Tuchel has thus far used a 4-2-3-1 which requires a leading man - especially if the club are to realise their designs of winning the UEFA Champions League for the first time since 2020 under Hansi Flick.

And with Kane playing at the point of the attack, Bayern's embarrassment of attacking riches in and around him can run beyond him without the fear that the attack will break down.

Many more goals should follow with Leroy Sane (l.) and Kingsley Coman (r.) playing either side of Harry Kane (c.). - Getty Images

Sane's opener against Bremen was a prime example of that, the former Schalke and Manchester City man breaching Bremen's high defensive line at full pace with Kane playing it to him, first time, from around the centre-circle. 

A flying machine with the right engine 

As well as Sane, Bayern count flying machines Kingsley Coman, Serge Gnabry and Tel among their ranks, and while Musiala is as fast with the ball as without it and Müller has the extra yard in his head, Kane's profile and Bayern's depth is a match made in heaven.

Kane can be on the receiving end when he has Musiala or Müller for company in the final third, and can return the favour disproportionately with speedy wingers like Sane and Coman alongside him.

Kane's transfer may have been a record outlay for Bayern, but the England captain is already beginning to make that look like money well spent.