Their names have poured from the mouths of excited commentators and appeared on millions of fan social media posts the world over, and with Harry Kane and Victor Boniface now ready to face off in an early Bundesliga title contenders’ bout, the weekend is set to begin with a bang.
Both new arrivals to the Bundesliga have started the season in exceptional style, Leverkusen’s 6’3” Nigerian powerhouse edging the early-season stats ahead of England’s all-time record goalscorer. Combined, they share an awesome tally of 10 goal involvements and have had such an impact in the opening three matchdays of 2023/24 that fans can’t wait to be reacquainted with the deadly duo.
Kane kicked off his Bundesliga career with a slick pass for Leroy Sane’s opener during the campaign curtain-raiser at Werder Bremen. The ex-Tottenham Hotspur man wasn’t long in following that up with a goal in what turned into a comprehensive 4-0 win for Thomas Tuchel’s men.
Similarly, Boniface – signed from Belgian side Union Saint-Gilloise – blazed into the spotlight with an assist on his Bayer bow, the 22-year-old teeing up Jeremie Frimpong for Leverkusen’s first goal of a 3-2 win against fellow title hopefuls and Supercup winners RB Leipzig.
Watch: Boniface - August's Rookie of the Month
In his next game, Boniface was off the mark with an impressive double that included a header in a 3-0 win away to Borussia Mönchengladbach that had observers taking note of the Werkself’s slick movement, work-rate and eye-catching attacking prowess. Meanwhile, over in Bavaria, Kane was matching Boniface’s brilliant exploits. The 30-year-old’s first goal at the Allianz Arena – a sweetly struck penalty – shook the rain from the goal net against Augsburg while his second of the day was a prime example of world-class finishing.
In front of Boniface in the goalscoring stakes going into Matchday 3, Kane would fall slightly behind after a dramatic day that saw both rivals win for a third straight time going into the international break. Leverkusen put paid to Darmstadt hopes with a mostly one-sided 5-1 win, while Bayern edged to victory away against Gladbach.
Kane didn’t score in the record champions’ last league outing but Boniface tore the Lilies apart, netting twice and offering up one more assist as he headed to joint-second in the scorers’ charts.
Watch: An in-depth view on what makes Kane tick
Of course, both Tuchel and Leverkusen coach Xabi Alonso will have expected their newly signed strikers to deliver, but the speed with which both players have adapted to life in new surroundings will have delighted the tacticians. “The way we play it looks like we've been together for so long,” Boniface explained of Bayer’s blistering opening to the season. “I give credit to the coach and to all the players,” the striker continued.
Kane, meanwhile, insisted that, “As soon as I came into the side I wanted to help the team in all aspects; [but] obviously scoring goals is the main reason I'm here. I’m delighted to contribute.”
Bundesliga fans, too, are delighted to keep watching the duo continue to deliver the goods at the highest level in Germany. Both players enjoyed different routes to the Bundesliga, with goal-king Kane – a three-time Premier League top scorer - joining Bayern as that division’s second highest marksman of all time with 213 goals and Tottenham’s all-time leading scorer with 280 goals.
Boniface was an Bodo/Glimt player before moving to Belgium in August 2022. He drew international attention when he scored five goals in four Champions League qualifying games before netting six times in 10 Europa League matches, the competition in which he finished joint-top scorer in 2022/23 with Marcus Rashford of Manchester United. Boniface was also named in last term’s Europa League Team of the Season.
In red-hot form for their current sides, both are now on a collision course this Friday and it could well rain goals as a consequence at the Allianz Arena. Ballon d'Or nominee Kane will be desperate to please in front of the home crowd, who no doubt expect to see their new No.9 add to 13 shots in Bayern’s opening three encounters to date.
Watch: A head-to-head look at Bayern vs. Leverkusen
However, those same supporters will be wary of Bundesliga Rookie of the Month winner Boniface, who boasts a division-leading 21 shots and has managed a top speed of 20 mp/h this term during his 49 sprints.
Just one more fascinating facet of what could turn out to be one of the games of the season, Kane vs. Boniface – the battle of the Bundesliga goal getters, is another reason for you not to miss a Matchday 4 match-up of epic proportions.
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The Bundesliga top scorer race
Harry Kane, Victor Boniface and Serhou Guirassy currently lead the way in Bundesliga top scorer chart for 2023/24.