Champions League: Harry Kane Is Expected To Score Against His Former Admirers When Bayern Face United

The beer is flowing in Munich. Oktoberfest started on Saturday, shortly after Harry Kane had knocked in his fourth goal in as many Bundesliga appearances wearing a special shirt featuring mountain flowers.

Next up, Manchester United in the Champions League and the reason Kane had to leave London. The Champions League that is, not the beer. Although they rarely have one without the other at Bayern, Wednesday’s date with United, the rekindling of a famous rivalry, 1999 and all that, is a reminder of their stature.

This is what it is about and where England’s captain needs to be, and if he is tempted to glance back towards White Hart Lane and the transformed mood under Ange Postecoglou, then he really should not.

Tottenham squeezed past one of the favourites for relegation at home on Saturday to wild acclaim and will now rest up ahead of the North London derby, while Arsenal test their character against the emotion of a return to Europe’s elite competition.

Mikel Arteta is sure to mention the disruption of European football if his team underperform against Spurs but would not trade places with Postecoglou, who must accept a free week is an advantage in terms of preparation for a trip to the Emirates Stadium, but would swap in a heartbeat.

As for the players, they want to play. They want to compete. They don’t want to rest and prepare and watch the biggest games on TV, even if sports science says it’s better for their bodies and minds. Kane will be desperate to test himself against the elite again in a strong team, and will be able to do so for as long as he remains at Bayern Munich.

Since his last appearance in the Champions League, which came for a misfiring Tottenham team in an underwhelming goalless draw against Milan in March, he has scored 22 goals in 23 games for club and country.

He has failed to score on only five of those outings — and that includes his cameo Bayern debut as a substitute in the German Super Cup. His goal against Bayer Leverkusen on Friday, a close-range header to open the scoring in a 2-2 draw, was his 300th in club football, with 280 for Spurs, nine for Millwall, five for Leyton Orient and two for Leicester.

In the Champions League, Kane’s numbers remain impressive despite him scoring only once in eight games for Spurs last season.

His record before then was so good he can still boast figures of 21 goals in 32 appearances in the competition.

Although cherished in N17 and admired elsewhere, his consistent levels of excellence never did earn him the level of appreciation he deserved during nine years in the Premier League.

He hardly made the conversation when the Player of the Year awards were handed out. Over the last decade, those prizes have more than ever been the preserve of players picking up major trophies. Like a reward for excelling in a great team.

Kane, regardless, kept impeccable standards on the pitch and understood his responsibilities off it. He is a serious professional devoted to his craft. Someone at Bayern recognised this from afar. What is most remarkable of all is that Manchester United did not.

Despite all their wealth, power and popular appeal, United failed to construct anything like a serious move on Tottenham for Kane at any point while spending £1.3billion in the transfer market, much of it on players of exciting potential, in the years since Sir Alex Ferguson has retired.

Ferguson would surely have ordered a full-scale attempt to recruit Kane, despite the obvious complications of dealing with a chairman like Daniel Levy, determined not to let others follow Teddy Sheringham, Michael Carrick and Dimitar Berbatov on the path from Tottenham to Old Trafford.

Perhaps Rasmus Hojlund is the answer to the long search for a centre forward but, all along, Kane has been as close as you can get to a guarantee.

Just ask Bayern. The goals are flowing like the beer.