Harry Kane's move to Bayern Munich is the right deal for all parties

England captain can fulfil his ambitions in Germany while Tottenham must look to the future

Harry Kane leaves Tottenham as one of the club's greatest ever players. Reuters
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In Germany, the phrase heldenfußball is a familiar expression when it comes to Bayern Munich.

The term translates literally as “hero football” and therefore, unsurprisingly, is commonly associated with the almost distastefully successful Bavarians and their invariably A-list roster of stars.

You could say the essence of Bayern’s identity is heldenfußball ­­− a concept where packing the team with outstanding individual talent is paramount and prioritised above tactical concerns.

Save for a three-year Pep Guardiola-flavoured hiatus, when Bayern embraced the Spanish school, this has typically been their way.

The heroes, and there have been many, have had a lasting impact on German and world football – from Beckenbauer, Breitner and Muller to Lahm, Schweinsteiger and Lewandowski.

And that brings us to their newest and most expensive idol, England captain Harry Kane – a man who has been playing hero football for most of his career.

The issue for Kane, however, is that in recent years at Tottenham, he has been doing it alone, the level of his own personal performance increasingly divergent from that of the club.

Ultimately, this was a choice between personal accolades, namely the all-time Premier League goalscoring record, and the chance for so much more in Germany.

Kane has personal accolades. What he doesn’t have is medals.

Many cast doubt as to whether he would leave behind home comforts and embrace the cultural challenge of a new country and a new league, given so very few elite English players feel compelled to test themselves beyond the Premier League.

But Kane has chosen bravely, and wisely, and the rewards could be that much greater.

This is the chance to play number nine for one of world football’s great clubs who, in Germany, are “like Liverpool and Manchester United rolled into one”, according to the Athletic’s Raphael Honigstein.

League titles will surely arrive, while this ambitious union also signifies a serious intent to go all out for what would be the club’s seventh Champions League crown.

For Bayern, Kane’s capture will fill the Lewandowski-shaped hole in their forward line, a reference point at the top of the pitch, while their craving for star power will be assuaged by the arrival of the England captain.

Meanwhile, for Tottenham, as painful as Kane’s exit will be, accepting Bayern’s €100 million-plus offer for a player with just 12 months remaining on his contract and no inclination to extend was the only logical course of action.

And with the club at the outset of a major rebuild under Ange Postecoglu, it’s as good a time as any to accept that this is the end of an era and reinvest for the future.

The natural conclusion is that this is fundamentally a good deal for all parties. The only sticking point, of course, is that Premier League goalscoring record.

Kane might hope to one day return and chalk off the 48 strikes he needs to usurp Alan Shearer’s mark of 260, but at 30 years old, and with a four-year deal at Bayern, that seems an unlikely scenario.

Shearer chose to stay in England – turning down Juventus among others – and finished his career with a lot of goals but just the one league championship, won at Blackburn Rovers as a 25-year-old.

Kane has chosen a different path and the size of his concession should not be downplayed. For years that record seemed to be his destiny. His decision to likely forgo it should be respected.

And just maybe it will prove a vital source of motivation to reach the absolute peak of his powers in Germany. After all, heroes are often driven by a strong sense of personal sacrifice.

Updated: August 14, 2023, 4:14 PM