Sadio Mane was famously accused of fitting in at Bayern like tofu in a white sausage, but Harry Kane had barely set foot in Munich before he was digging into a weisswurst.
The debates have been very much the same in consecutive summers where Bayern Munich took Liverpool’s and then Tottenham’s star player, but the impact has been entirely different.
Since his £100million move from Spurs, that could rise to £125m, Kane has taken to German football like a duck to water, becoming only the third player in club history to score three goals in his first two Bundesliga games.
But it’s off the pitch where the transition has been impressively flawless, thanks mainly to Kane’s down-to-earth nature.
Someone who made the same move in 1995, but with a German passport, Jurgen Klinsmann spoke of how people would ‘freak out’ if the England captain learned just a few words of the language, embraced the culture, and showed himself to be a ‘humble hero’.
Well with just days on the clock, there were ticks in all three boxes. Kane opted for the very well-chosen ‘servus’ in his opening press conference, a greeting in local Bavarian dialect, and took on the culture in what would have been a daunting first task.
Digging into a rather bleak-looking weisswurst, Kane admitted ‘it tastes better than it looks’ but his new fans wouldn’t have cared, already swooning at their new star adorned in lederhosen and cheersing a pint of Paulaner beer, even letting out the word ‘prost’.
It wasn’t all for show, either, with a story later emerging that the 30-year-old spent his first days at Bayern’s Sabener Strasse meeting and shaking hands with all 300 employees.
“Of course I’d shake hands with people I meet here,” Kane said when questioned about the story. “That’s just my personality.
“We’re all part of the same team – and all deserve the same respect. That will never change in my life”
That not only impressed the media, but his new teammates, with Leon Goretzka saying: “He’s a world-class player and a great person. I think he will become a leader and an important addition to our team.”
In fact, even referees have been impressed, with Champions League regular Daniel Siebert quizzed about Germany’s new star, he responded: “He’s very pleasant and down-to-earth.
“We joked before the game about the rain he brought from England. I’m sure Harry Kane won’t be a problem for us Bundesliga referees.”
Goretzka’s leadership comment has already become one of the biggest topics surrounding the club, with reports claiming that just three games into his Bayern career, Kane is likely to be added to the team’s inner council.
That group of captains includes Manuel Neuer, Muller, Goretzka and Kingsley Coman, with BILD claiming Kane is ‘already indispensable on the pitch and in the dressing room’.
“I’d be happy to be part of it if I’m asked to,” Kane said in response. “But regardless of whether I’m on the team council or not – if I have an opinion regarding a topic, I’ll say it.”
An opening 3-0 DFL Super Cup defeat to Leipzig aside, it’s been a near-flawless transition for Kane, but he can’t take all of the credit.
A fan favourite and well known anglophile, Muller has been by his side on and off the pitch, even teaching him how to eat white sausage.
“He’s a great guy who took very good care of me from the start,” Kane said. “He’s seen so many players come and go at Bayern Munich. And yet he approached me immediately with his openness.
“He can push the whole team with his experience and I’m looking forward to getting to know him better.”
Well thanks to that relationship, Muller has worked his way back into Thomas Tuchel’s plans, and now even Hansi Flick’s with the national team after an injury to Niclas Fullkrug.
That’s certainly something that will be a topic of conversation over the international break, with the pair continuing their bromance on the golf course.
“He plays really, really well. I greeted him straight away with two birdies, on 1 and 2, then he knew what was going on,” Muller recalled.
“He hits a very high ball, not typical for Englishmen. But very dangerous for Munich golf courses.”
Englishmen playing abroad has been rare over the years, and even more sparse have been those who have fully adapted to the culture to make the move a success.
The early signs for Kane are very promising, though, and it may not just be trophies that he collects, but a new home for his family outside the most comfortable of comfort zones back in his lifelong north London abode.
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