Analysis: Is Robert Lewandowski heading to Bayern Munich?
Saturday’s Champions League final defeat at the hands of Bayern Munich will still be a sore topic for the majority of Borussia Dortmund fans. However, their German rivals are on the verge of securing a second successive victory in the space of just a few days with world-class striker, Robert Lewandowski, set to move to the Allianz Arena.
The Polish striker has been Dortmund’s star man throughout this seasons European campaign, he currently has a contract with Jurgen Klopp’s side until June 2014 but is widely expected to leave the club this summer following his refusal to sign a new deal.
Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes suggested that Lewandowski is likely to follow in the footsteps of team mate Mario Gotze with a move from BVB to Munich.
According to one of his agents, a deal could be made within the next few weeks, as the 24-year-old seeks a new challenge.
He has found the back of the net 54 times in 98 appearances for the Westphalian club, whom he joined from Lech Poznan in 2010. But now his time at the club seems to be nearing an end.
Lewandowski’s transfer to Bavaria would cost the current German champions around £25 million. But he would certainly be worth the price as his performances this season have proven.
Currently, Bayern opt for a 4-2-3-1 formation, choosing to play against their opponents with a lone striker. This season Mario Mandzukic has dominated this role, starting 30 games across all competitions, scoring a total of 18 goals.
Whether or not incoming manager, Pep Guardiola, will continue using these tactics is yet to be discovered, and with world-class German international Mario Gomez currently restricted to appearances as a substitute, do Bayern even have space in the squad for a player of Lewandowski’s calibre?
When comparing the three strikers based on this season’s Bundesliga campaign, Lewandowski is leagues ahead of the two Bayern players in terms of goals scored. The Polish striker has netted 24 times in total, compared to Mandzukic’s 15 and Gomez’s 11. Lewandowski contributed 30% of Dortmund’s goals this season, finishing second in the Bundesliga top scorers chart.
However, this season Gomez has scored more goals per minute played than his potential competition. Perhaps this is a more representative statistic when comparing the three players. The German striker scores on average every 81 minutes on the pitch, whereas the Lewandoswki scores every 109 minutes and finally, Mario Mandzukic netted on average once every 115 minutes.
All three strikers play a very similar role – as goal poachers inside the penalty box. 23 of Lewandowski’s 24 finishes this season have come from inside the area, this accounts for approximately 95.8% of his goals.
On top of this, the Polish forward has been phenomenal in the Champions League for BVB. In 12 appearances (plus one as a substitute), he has scored 12 times in total. His most notable performance has to be Dortmund’s 4-1 thrashing of Real Madrid, in which he netted four times in 90 minutes.
It’ll be hard for Pep Guardiola during his first few weeks as manager. Bayern Munich have a variety of attacking options and Robert Lewandowski’s arrival is only going to make team selection a more difficult task.
Should he opt to stick with the team’s current formation, I imagine he’ll implement Lewandowski as the club’s leading striker. His goal record in the Bundesliga and Champions League speaks for itself. A player of his quality would be wasted as a substitute, even when playing for a side who currently hold the title of European Champions.
Lewandowski could well be the man to lead Bayern to further continental success in future seasons. It’s fair to say, the team is only getting stronger and the Polish striker would prove a useful addition to any of Europe’s elite club sides.
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