England manager Gareth Southgate will be keeping a close eye on a quartet of player when Bayern Munich host Borussia Dortmund. - © 2024 DFL
England manager Gareth Southgate will be keeping a close eye on a quartet of player when Bayern Munich host Borussia Dortmund. - © 2024 DFL

Why England coach Gareth Southgate will be watching Bayern Munich vs. Borussia Dortmund in Der Klassiker


Matchday 27's Klassiker between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund will certainly draw the gaze of England coach Gareth Southgate, who gets to cast his eye over Harry Kane, Eric Dier, Jadon Sancho and Jamie Bynoe-Gittens ahead of this summer's UEFA European Championship in Germany.

Click here for more on Euro 2024 in Germany!

As long as he remains fully fit, England captain Kane is nailed on to lead his country out when they take on Serbia on 16 June in Gelsenkirchen, their first match of Euro 2024.

With 62 goals to show from his 89 caps for the Three Lions, that was always likely to be the case even before he made the move to Bayern last August. Fast forward a nudge over six months, and Kane's importance at this year's competition has only increased.

That's after collecting a haul of 36 goals in 34 appearances for his new club, including 31 in 26 Bundesliga games, and setting course to break the top-flight's single season record just three seasons after Robert Lewandowski finally ended Gerd Müller's 49-year-old record, which previously looked unbeatable, at 40 goals.

Watch: Harry Kane - tactical analysis

Kane has made a mockery of those outrageous feats with those of his own and, with Euro 2024 taking place across Germany, it will only benefit England that their record goalscorer has settled so quickly into the country.

A keen cricket fan, Kane has so far faced the majority of questions surrounding his personal quest for a first major trophy with a straight bat.

"I’m just trying to push my team to win and will do the same in the summer with England," he told The Guardian in February, just a few months after the same outlet acknowledged that a UEFA Champions League final in Wembley and Euro 2024 final in Berlin could potentially throw up a Hollywood storyline later this year.

"I have been told about the Champions League final at Wembley, for sure, and I know the Euros are in Germany, so if there’s someone out there writing a movie … I will try my best to make it happen," he said in September 2023. "I don’t want to think about it too much, but if it did happen it would be incredible."

Watch: Kane vs. Lewandowski after 26 matches...

Kane may have also found it incredible that fellow former Tottenham Hotspur teammate Dier joined him in Munich in January. Dier arrived at Spurs the same year Kane made his big break in north London and their reunion feels just one major international tournament away from going full circle.

Having collected the last of his 49 England caps back in December 2022, many would have had the impression that Dier's international days were behind him. Now 13 games into his Bayern career, and with an extension to his stay already confirmed, that doesn't feel the case - far from it in fact.

Dier has emerged as a regular starter in defence and the boffins over at Opta recently pointed out that he was the sole Bundesliga outfield player to have played a minimum of 500 minutes and not been dribbled past by a single opponent. He's also committed just six fouls in eight league games, and is currently winning 65.5 percent of battles on the ground, 63.6 percent in the air.

Dier (l.) is enjoying regular first-team football in the same Bayern team as Kane (r.). - IMAGO/Frank Hoermann/SVEN SIMON

All of this has led to suggestions of a return to the England fold, and the 30-year-old couldn't be clearer that that is front and centre of his vision board.

"If I am playing for a club like Bayern and if I am playing well, I should have a good chance," said Dier. "Why not? I haven't spoken to Gareth but it's up to me to play well. The national team is a really simple thing. You try to play as well as possible for your club and everything else is out of your control."

On the other side of the Klassiker divide are two players who have been less vocal about their England hopes, but will certainly be hoping to show Southgate what they're capable of.

One of which is Sancho, who completed a loan move back "home" to the Signal Iduna Park just one day prior to Dier's own switch to Bayern, and simply stated that he wanted to "play football with a smile on my face, get assists, score goals and help the club qualify for the Champions League."

The Manchester United loanee has since chalked up an assist on his debut, before grabbing his first goal back at the club in a crucial 2-1 win over Werder Bremen to help keep Dortmund ahead of RB Leipzig in fourth place.

Watch: The best of Jadon Sancho 2023/24

The close control, turn of pace and clever finish against Werder - a goal that made him the joint-highest scoring Englishman in Bundesliga history - was a glimpse of Sancho at his very best and suggests more is to come this term. He followed that up a few days later with the opening goal in BVB's last-16 second leg victory over PSV that sent them into the quarter-finals of the Champions League. 

"I've got personal goals which I'm not going to say for now," Sancho coyly revealed recently. "I just want to help the team and I'm very positive about the second half of the season."

It was the first indication that Sancho may well have ambitions beyond club success this term, and rightly so considering he was a key member of the England squad that eventually lost the Euro 2020 final to Italy on penalties. That day at Wembley in 2021 saw Sancho miss a spot-kick in the shootout, and this next edition of the tournament offers him - and his country - a shot at a sequel with Liam Neeson levels of redemption.

And it's clearly not out of the question. According to Southgate at least, who said last September of the 23-time international: "It’s been the best part of a couple of years since we worked with him, it’s difficult to say exactly the position that he finds himself and where he is with it all. But for every player that’s not with us, there is always an opportunity if they can seize the form and have the [right] level of performances."

Not only does that suggest the door is open for Sancho to earn a spot in Southgate's squad this summer, it also encourages other players to force their way into the reckoning too. Enter, Bynoe-Gittens.

Watch: Jamie Bynoe-Gittens - Dortmund's next English super talent

Still just 19, Bynoe-Gittens followed in the footsteps of his compatriot by swapping Manchester City for BVB in 2020. This year represents the 19-year-old's best in terms of appearances since joining Dortmund, featuring 22 times, scoring twice and laying on five assists in all competitions.

The full passing of the torch hasn't happened quite yet between Sancho and Bynoe-Gittens, but should he kick on from here, starting with a potentially star-making role against Bayern, Bynoe-Gittens will certainly be in the conversation.

Similarly to Kane and Dier, the Dortmund duo's careers are very much intertwined up to this point and call-ups to the national team at Euro 2024 would be yet more blockbuster scripting.

Whether it's just Kane that's in Southgate's squad against Serbia, it's all four, or a combination of them taking to the stage in June, the Bundesliga has a quartet of candidates pushing for a starring role, and auditions don't get any bigger than Der Klassiker.

Click here for full Klassiker build-up, coverage and reaction!