Kane to Bayern looks like a POINTLESS waste of money

Peter Staunton
  • Updated: 31 Mar 2024 17:35 BST
  • 6 min read
Harry Kane misses a chance for Bayern against Lazio in the Champions League, 2023/24

Was it worth it?

Bayern Munich staked everything on Harry Kane last summer.

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The German record champions paid €95 million to Tottenham for Kane, a player who was just about to turn 30, only 12 months out from the expiry of his contract.

In hindsight it looks baffling.

He is being paid somewhere in the region of €25m per annum, gross, at a time when Bayern are fighting with a number of their star names over the cost of new deals.

READ MORE: Man Utd can sign an ELITE Eriksen replacement for €30m

FC Hollywood are so far unwilling to match the demands of Alphonso Davies, Joshua Kimmich and Leroy Sane - and could well lose them all this summer - while efforts need to be made to keep Jamal Musiala beyond his current expiration date of 2026.

It’s not going to be easy and one reason for that is that Kane is eating up the budget.

This is not intended to slight Kane. He’s pretty much upheld his part of the bargain.

Bayern’s top brass signed him to score goals and he’s done that in abundance; 31 goals in 27 Bundesliga games and 37 goals in 36 games overall to this point.

But Bayern could scarcely be called a better team for his presence.

Leverkusen showing that Bayern have STOOD STILL

Having won 11 Bundesliga titles in a row, this one appeared a formality. Copperfastened by the arrival of one of the world’s best forwards, there was surely no way they would lose.

But nobody banked on Bayer Leverkusen putting together one of the most incredible seasons ever seen in German football, under the tutelage of Xabi Alonso.

And their recent transfer business has made Bayern’s pursuit of Kane look like something from another age.

Xabi Alonso, Bayer Leverkusen
© IMAGO - Xabi Alonso, Bayer Leverkusen

Jeremie Frimpong - €11m. Robert Andrich - €6.5m. Granit Xhaka - €15m. Alex Grimaldo - free. These are some of the most in-form players in European football currently and they were picked up for a song by Simon Rolfes and his recruitment team.

Bayern, point for point, might well be slightly better off this season than last but that was a pretty low benchmark.

They have played 27 league matches, won 19, drawn three and lost five. Bayern have scored 78 goals and have put 60 points on the board.

This time last year those totals were: played 27, won 17, drawn seven and lost three. They had scored 77 and earned 58 points.

That was good enough for top spot but this term they have been left in the dust. Bayern have stood still; they are two points and a single goal better off than they were this time last year.

After 27 matches, Bayern have scored ONE MORE GOAL this year than they did last. And in the 2022-23 season, it was Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting up top.

Kane hoovering up the goals

Is that good enough? Absolutely not.

Kane was a prestige signing; Bayern were dazzled by the opportunity of having the England captain in their line up and moved heaven and earth to make it happen.

What a sorry mistake it looks now.

So what’s happening?

Kane is simply hoovering up a greater proportion of the goals than any player did for them last season. There are only so many goals to go around.

Harry Kane and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, Bayern
© IMAGO - Harry Kane and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, Bayern

Only he and Musiala have reached double figures in the league this season, and the ex-Tottenham superstar has scored more than three times as many as the Germany international.

Sane has notched eight but he hasn’t scored a league goal since October.

Mathys Tel has been starved of starts but has still managed five Bundesliga goals. And it is the teenage Frenchman who should have been entrusted with more game time by Thomas Tuchel.

Meanwhile, the team as a whole is sorely lacking Serge Gnabry, who is enduring an injury-ravaged season.

Kane, averaging 4.6 shots on goal per 90 minutes, IS the threat around which the attack is built but when things malfunction, it leaves Bayern with few places to turn.

Kane was criticised for his performance in the recent 2-0 Bundesliga defeat to Borussia Dortmund, which left Bayern 13 points behind Leverkusen.

Bayern created some decent chances for their talisman but he couldn’t take them. And it’s at moments like that when they need him but, in the cold light of day, he hasn’t been there at the key moments often enough.

He carried Bayern in a big game against Dortmund in the autumn, where he scored a hat-trick and recently against RB Leipzig, when he scored two in a 2-1 win.

However, his goal record is undoubtedly embellished by running up the score in dead rubbers. He’s got hat-tricks in matches against Bochum (7-0), Darmstadt (8-0) and Mainz (8-1).

Those are not goals worth €95m.

Bayern have lost badly this season against Eintracht Frankfurt (5-1), Leverkusen (3-0) and last weekend against Dortmund. Kane was nowhere to be found, although, in fairness to him, no Bayern players can hold their heads up after those results.

Who needs Harry? Spurs no worse off without Kane

Nor can Kane’s loss be said to have diminished the team he left behind.

Ange Postecoglou lost Kane at the end of the transfer window and went into the season without a proper, recognised No.9. But that has not deterred Tottenham.

After 29 matches, they are on the cusp of the Champions League places, having scored 61 goals and earned 56 points.

With Kane present last term those figures were 53 goals scored and 50 points on the board.

Ange Postecoglou, Tottenham
© IMAGO - Ange Postecoglou, Tottenham

Spurs, this term, have done a better job at sharing the goals around. Their top scorer is Son Heung-min with 15 Premier League goals, followed by Richarlison (10) and Dejan Kulusevski (6).

By this stage last season, Kane had 22, Son six and Rodrigo Bentancur five.

So if the team who bought Kane can’t feel the difference and the team who sold him cannot either, what can be said of this transfer?

Maybe we are reaching a juncture where the perils of a top team servicing a frontman to the detriment of everyone else’s output is becoming self-evident.

Maybe the template of the future to follow will be interchangeable, multifaceted frontmen who are hard to pick up and can ghost in and out of dangerous areas.

Maybe a superstar, fixed-point attacker will be made redundant.

Sane, Musiala and a fit-again Gnabry might well be the best front three Thomas Tuchel’s successor has available to him but who is going to give Bayern their money back on Harry Kane?

There is still hope for the Bavarians to win the Champions League, facing Arsenal in the last eight. But there are better teams in the draw, Manchester City and Real Madrid included, and it is tough to see Kane breaking his trophyless streak this term.

Barring an unlikely European success, this has been a very expensive lesson to learn.

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