With 22 goals in his first 16 Bundesliga games, Harry Kane has set records tumbling at Bayern Munich. But is he on course to break Robert Lewandowski’s single-season best mark of 41?
The simple answer is yes. Yes, he is.
For the uninitiated, Bayern legend Gerd Müller set what was thought to be an unbreakable goal record of 40 in the 1971/72 campaign, a figure that stood as a benchmark for strikers for almost 50 years.
That was until Lewandowski went one better in the 2020/21 campaign, poking in his 41st goal in the 90th minute on the final day of the season to seal a 5-2 win over Augsburg. Surely, people thought, there’s no way anybody can come close to that again.
Lewandowski ‘only’ scored 35 the following year and while Erling Haaland gave it his best shot at Dortmund, even he only managed 27 and 22 goals respectively in his two full seasons at the club.
All of which makes Kane’s brilliant start to life in Germany all the more astonishing. The 30-year-old’s hat-trick in Bayern’s 4-0 Der Klassiker victory over Dortmund
on Matchday 10 was his third of the campaign, and he has bagged a pair of braces since.
For context, the last player to achieve back-to-back hat-tricks was Mario Gomez back in 2011. Kane’s three Bundesliga hat-tricks this term is also a feat only ever matched at the same stage of a season by Cologne’s Christian Müller – what is it with that surname and goals? – in 1964/65.
The forward’s latest exploits – the final goal in a 3-0 win over Hoffenheim to kick off 2024 – took him five clear of Stuttgart striker Serhou Guirassy (22 goals to 17). Last season, Niclas Füllkrug and Christopher Nkunku shared the Torjägerkanone with 16 apiece. When Gerd Müller hit 40 in 1970/71, he had 17 goals at this juncture. Lewandowski was also 22 at the halfway stage of his 41-goal season.
Add into the mix Kane’s five Bundesliga assists and the Bayern No.9 has been directly involved in 27 goals this season. Since detailed data collection began in the Bundesliga in 1992/93, nobody has ever reached that figure so quickly.
So, can Kane break Lewandowski’s record? Injuries, squad rotation and dips in form may yet play a role, but mathematically speaking, he’s on course to blow it out of the water.
Kane is currently averaging a goal every 64 minutes he plays in the Bundesliga. There are 1,620 minutes still available to him across the remaining 18 league matches, so if he maintains his current pace, he will notch another 25 goals to finish the season with 47. If anyone can do it, Kane can.