English FA Cup champions Arsenal made discreet enquiries about the availability of Robert Lewandowski this past summer, but Bayern Munich unequivocally rebuffed the Gunners’ approach as they do not want to sell the Polish forward, report the Daily Mail.
This is clearly pointing to the fact that, despite the frosty relationship between Lewandowski and his boss Pep Guardiola, the lanky forward is highly-valued at the Allian Arena.
Nevertheless, there has always been a question of whether it is the club’s hierarchy or the Spanish boss that values Lewandowski.
The 26-year striker is currently in high spirits following his record-breaking exploits for Bayern against Wolfsburg on Tuesday evening, leaving Guardiola with a stunned smile. There was a certain look of disbelief on the eyes of the former Barcelona boss as he brought his hands to head in acknowledgment of Lewy’s superb five goals in in eight minutes, 57 seconds after coming off the bench.
On that night, Lewandowki broke all sorts of records: quickest hat-trick in the Bundesliga, fastest four-goal haul in the Bundesliga and of course, the fastest man to score five goals in the Bundesliga.
Furthermore, the former Borussia Dortmund ace was the first substitute to score five goals in the BuLi and indeed any of the five top European leagues and it was also the quickest five goals scored by a player in the UK, Spain, Germany and Italy.
No wonder Arsenal were interested in Lewandowski in the summer and the Gunners’ fans would have been much happier this season had Arsene Wenger coughed up a fee of around £40m-£50m for the player during the summer. In fact, only the signings of Cech and Lewandowski would have meant a perfect summer for Arsenal.
The North Londoners were encouraged to make an approach for the Polish striker on those incessant stories that Lewandooski might be surplus to requirements for Guardiola. He started from the bench on Tuesday and albeit he is a starter at Bayern, there is a certain feeling that the Spanish boss prefers a forward who is Thomas Mulleresque or Mario Gotzeesque.
Guardiola has a penchant for false nines who can go deeper for balls and contribute largely to the Bayern boss’ tiki-taka type of football. In November 2013 when Lewandowski announced he would be joining Bayern at the end of the season, Guardiola had no choice but to approve of the transfer as the club officials had already brokered the deal. However, the pair have never seemed a natural fit – likened to an arranged marriage.
With good ball control and a superb hold-up play, Lewy has all the attributes of a traditional centre-forward and this would definitely benefit him in the Premier League. Now how much would Arsenal, Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea want the player now?
However, one puzzling thing is why Arsenal and the likes failed to take a chance on Lewy earlier before his move to the Allianz Arena. He fired Dortmund to the double in the 2011/12 season, with 22 BuLi goals and also a hat-trick against Bayern in the German cup final as Dortmund edged out 5-2 winners.
Maybe he was adjudged to be raw and inconsistent at that time. Perhaps the reluctance from Arsenal’s part to fork out £25m for a 21-year old player of mere potential was beyond the Gunners’ finances at that time. It is still unknown.
Also, when a player is a shining light in the BuLi, it is always hard for any club to go ahead of Bayern on the queue for the player’s signature
As per the Daily Mail, Arsenal’s only hope to sign Lewandowski now hinges on Guardiola. If the Spanish boss – who has been linked to City and United – signs a new long-term contract at the Allianz Arena, Lewandowski could have to move to a club who are in need of his type of striker.