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Bayern Striker Saga: Lewandowski vs. Kane
- Updated: November 23, 2023
Bayern Munich has a rich history of prolific strikers, with legends like Gerd Müller and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge gracing the Allianz Arena. In recent times, Robert Lewandowski emerged as a standout figure, leaving an indelible mark with 312 goals over eight seasons. However, the Polish striker departed for Barcelona in 2022, leaving Bayern without a classic No.9 for some months. Enter Harry Kane, the English captain and former Tottenham Hotspur star, who has seamlessly stepped into Lewandowski’s shoes, making an instant impact with 17 goals in his first 11 Bundesliga games.
Robert Lewandowski’s legacy at Bayern Munich is monumental. Over 12 years in the Bundesliga, including his time at Borussia Dortmund, he amassed a total of 312 goals. Only Gerd Müller, with 365 goals, surpasses Lewandowski’s prolific record in the German top flight. The Polish striker won the Torjägerkanone seven times, showcasing his consistent prowess as the league’s top scorer.
After Lewandowski’s departure in 2022, Bayern experienced a period without a traditional No.9. The void left by the prolific Pole raised questions about who could fill his formidable boots. In the summer of 2023, Bayern found their answer in Harry Kane, who arrived as a three-time Premier League top scorer and the record signing for the club. Kane’s transition to Bayern was anticipated to be challenging, as acknowledged by Lewandowski himself, but the Englishman has defied expectations with an incredible start.
Kane’s Remarkable Start:
Harry Kane’s impact at Bayern Munich has been nothing short of spectacular. Scoring 17 goals in his first 11 Bundesliga games, he surpassed Lewandowski’s record of 16 from the 2019/20 season. Kane’s efficiency is highlighted by his average of 56.5 minutes per goal, outstripping Lewandowski’s 99.6 minutes. The English striker has also displayed remarkable accuracy, converting 84.6 percent of his big chances, compared to Lewandowski’s 55.6 percent.
Analyzing how Kane and Lewandowski score provides insights into their stylistic differences. Kane has predominantly relied on his stronger right foot, accounting for 70.6 percent of his goals, while four goals came from his head (23.5 percent). In contrast, Lewandowski displayed more versatility, scoring 17 percent of his goals with his slightly weaker left foot and fewer headers (15.7 percent). Kane’s proficiency in set-pieces stands out, with goals from corners and free-kicks, while Lewandowski excelled at capitalizing on crosses from open play.
Examining where the two strikers score from on the field reveals remarkable similarities. Both Kane and Lewandowski have scored approximately 94 percent of their goals from inside the penalty area, emphasizing their poacher instincts. Long-range goals are a rarity for both, with Kane scoring one from outside the penalty area, a memorable lob against Darmstadt, while Lewandowski netted 18 long-range goals, including four from direct free-kicks.
Comparing Career Stages:
It’s essential to acknowledge the different stages at which Kane and Lewandowski joined Bayern Munich. Kane arrived as a finished product, already established as a top scorer in the Premier League. In contrast, Lewandowski joined as a young player, and his sensational development truly took off from the age of 22. These nuances in their career trajectories contribute to the variations in their playing styles and goal-scoring efficiency.
The transition from Robert Lewandowski to Harry Kane at Bayern Munich has been seamless, with the English striker making a remarkable impact in a short span. Kane’s goal-scoring prowess, efficiency, and stylistic differences compared to Lewandowski add an intriguing chapter to Bayern’s storied history of prolific strikers. As Kane continues to leave his mark on the Bundesliga, the debate over who stands as the better Bayern No.9 will undoubtedly persist, enriching the club’s narrative with new and exciting dimensions.
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By- Sahiba Suri