There are few occasions where a team with the skill, technical ability and in my opinion overall likeability of Borussia Dortmund could be so overshadowed on the domestic stage. They are fast, skilful and technically gifted, boasting a squad of young German talent, either from the youth academy, such as Kevin Grosskreutz, or returning stars like Marco Reus.
Despite being forcefully cast to the shadows by the Bayern Munich war machine this season, the Yellow Wall can look forward to seeing second place in the Bundesliga and at the very least a quarter final of the Champions League.
So what would prompt the Polish talisman Robert Lewandowski to leave? He has already enjoyed multiple successes with Dortmund, not least their double last season, scoring in the 5-2 win of the DeutschePokal Final against the previously inferior Bayern.
The Bayern board, containing former stars Uli Hoeness and Karl-Heinz Rumenigge caused controversy in the German media when they vowed they would ‘not be negotiating to sign Lewandowski’ when his contract is up next summer. The comments were perceived as a transfer battering ram and a vow to take their domestic rivals’ main man.
Leading up to and during the European Championships last summer, the big Polish centre forward was dubbed Man United’s top transfer target; instead they went for Robin Van Persie and he repaid the faith with a hat full of goals generally up until January, despite a dip.
Lewandowski faces a similar situation to the Dutchman with a contract expiry on the horizon and a host of hungry clubs.
Now, the question remains, besides Bayern, where would he go? If we first of all dissect the main contenders in the Premier League, the options seem slender. This, of course, is an argument which assumes Lewandowski has any sense. So first of all, the champions-elect this season, Manchester United.
The striker has dropped off Fergie’s radar and would struggle to hold down a regular place, which would be a far cry from his hero status currently, both domestically and internationally.
The same argument can be applied to City, plus the bigger change lies in the blue half of Manchester, the contrast between good, hard working local youngsters and multi million pound signings in a star studded line up would not bode so well with the striker, you would think.
Chelsea and Arsenal would appear foolish choices on face value. All the problems at Chelsea, particularly behind the season would surely be a huge turn off for any player searching for their career to truly peak.
What Arsenal can offer no one knows, the frustrating, if not maddening inconsistency from the team and the tense relationship between the trio of fans-manager-board could be perceived as a step back.
Options remaining abroad would surely be PSG and Real Madrid. Barcelona discounted on the assumption they may not search for an out an out centre forward and stick to conventional forward-stroke-winger types that have been so closely associated with the Catalan club and the almost perfect way they play the game.
The aforementioned clubs, one European superpower, the other a newly formed club with a sudden backing of huge financial power and a new array of expensive talent. In both, he would be a big fish in a small pond, constantly on his toes, struggling to nail down a first team place.
So, it would appear the obvious choice for a move would be Bayern. However, I’m going to conclude this discussion to say it would be disrespectful to try looking for another club for the player.
Not disrespectful in the way it would be if Jupp Heycknes or Pep Guardiola were to openly discuss signing the forward while he was a Dortmund player, but in the way that it belittles Dortmund and all that Jurgen Klopp has achieved there.
This team have won plaudits all over Europe, out of three of their arguably most coveted players, two of them (the third being Lewandowski himself) are young German internationals, Mario Gotze and Marco Reus, not to mention Ilkay Gungodan.
With plaudits, comes success too and I have no doubt that they can make that continued success if they can ever topple Bayern again. It is a terrifying thing when stars like Mario Gomez and Arjen Robben struggle for game time, but that has been Bayern all season, terrifying. Terrifyingly superior.
Why would Lewandowski turn down this challenge? Playing some of the best football of his career in one of the most exciting teams in Europe, with plenty of room to progress. This sums up the world of football nowadays when a striker is already being lined up with moves away when he has 18 months left on a contract.
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