Earlier in the week, Sky Italia reported that Bayern Munich are making an ambitious move for Borussia Dortmund’s Polish striker Robert Lewandowski.
On the face of it, this report was easy to dismiss. However, Sky Italia are the same publication who broke the story of Pep Guardiola making his big move to Bavaria, so many Bayern fans took notice.
But the story didn’t stop with Sky Italia. It didn’t take long for German publication Spiegel too pick up on the story and report that Bayern and Lewandowski had agreed to personal terms, and now it was up to Dortmund and Bayern to reach a financial agreement. They went on to say that Lewandowski was excited at the potential of playing under new Bayern coach Pep Guardiola.
Regardless of the truth of the rumors, would pursuing Lewandowski actually be a good move for Die Bayern? There’s no question that Lewandowski is a striker of great talent and even greater potential, but is it worth Bayern returning to their FC Hollywood ways?
Bayern Already Have Two Excellent Strikers.
Of course, it’s more accurate to say that Bayern Munich already has three excellent strikers, but in all likelihood Claudio Pizarro will be leaving Bayern Munich in the summer. While the veteran Bayern striker will be missed, his absence will not be as noticed on the pitch.
Bayern already have a strike force that would make most teams in world football jealous with the likes of Mario Gomez and Mario Mandzukic on their roster. Mario Gomez has been one of the world’s most consistent strikers in football for years, proving his worth with Stuttgart, Bayern Munich, and the German National Team.
Mario Mandzukic has also proven to be one of the best signings in recent Bayern history, having netted 14 goals in the Bundesliga. Mandzukic has been a revelation in Munich, not only because of his goals but because he offers something different than Mario Gomez.
Gomez represents your typical target man striker. He’s big, hard to contain, and more clinical than most in front of goal. Mandzukic on the other hand may not be as clinical, but he offers more in Munich’s build up play and is possibly the best forward in the air in Germany, winning countless aerial duels and breaking down defenses.
Bayern Munich not only has one of the best strike forces in world football, they also have one of the most versatile. So is Lewandowski really needed at Bayern Munich? He may be an excellent player, but he isn’t categorically better than either of the Munich Marios and isn’t really needed at Bayern Munich.
Will Lewandowski Fit Into Pep’s Plans?
The rumors are stating that the Lewandowski transfer was a specific request of Bayern Munich’s upcoming manager Pep Guardiola. On the surface of it, this seems to make some sense. Pep Guardiola plays a possession game where the center forward will sit back and help set up plays.
Of course, this is assuming that Guardiola will change Bayern completely to match his Barcelona philosophy, which may or may not happen.
Assuming he does though, is the Polish striker really needed at Bayern? Pep Guardiola will already have Mario Mandzukic at his disposal, who has been excellent in Bayern Munich’s build-up play and is already linking well with talents like Toni Kroos and Thomas Mueller.
Speaking of Mueller, if Pep wants to switch Bayern to using a “False 9” then he should look no further than the German international. Mueller may not be Lionel Messi, but he has all the skills to be a great False 9 player.
Lewandowski would fit fine into Pep’s possible plans, but probably not much better than Mandzukic or Mueller. Spending money on Lewandowski would be a waste of Bayern’s transfer money for Guardiola.
A Public Relations Problem
When it comes to business in world football, people generally dismiss the public relations aspect of the sport. However, it’s a very important part of how an organization is run, especially one like Bayern. If Lewandowski transfers to Bayern Munich, there will be no winners with public relations.
For Dortmund, they will not only lose one of their best and most promising players, but they will also lose respect. Die Borussen has already struggled to maintain their stars with the departure of Nuri Sahin to Real Madrid and Shinji Kagawa to Manchester United. While Dortmund has managed without the pair, even managing to bring back Sahin on loan, it still took away valuable depth from the club.
Losing Lewandowski to anyone will make Dortmund look weak in the transfer market. Other big teams will see them as a feeder club. Given how much potential this Dortmund side actually has, they would be wise to hang onto Lewandowski as long as they can.
Bayern will come off looking childish. They will project an attitude that says “if you can’t beat them, buy them!” It will remind everyone of when Bayern was spitefully called “FC Hollywood”.
Bayern are not FC Hollywood any longer, and have become one of the best sides in European football through shrewd transfer policies and a fantastic youth system. The days of FC Hollywood are mostly over, and Bayern Munich are coming to their own through means other than just the transfer market.
A Strong Dortmund Has Benefitted Bayern Munich
As a general rule, Bayern Munich fans don’t care for Borussia Dortmund and for good reasons. This is the team that for the last two years has dominated the Bundesliga and left Bayern Munich in the dust.
But the competition has only made the Bavarian giants stronger.
Dortmund, despite the problems they have caused Bayern, have forced them to become more versatile in their attack and have pushed Bayern into what will likely be a record breaking season.
Do Bayern fans love Dortmund? Not in the slightest. But can they appreciate the competition? Absolutely.
At the end of the day, weakening Dortmund will only weaken the Bundesliga, and in turn will hurt Bayern.