It took all of 17 minutes at this years European championships for Polish striker Robert Lewandowski to make his mark. The 23 year old met a cross from Dortmund teammate Jakub Blaszczykowski, bouncing a header into the ground and past the despairing Greece goalkeeper Kostas Chalkias. Warsaw and the rest of Poland burst into jubilation, and Lewandowski had further announced himself onto the European footballing stage.
Followers of the Bundesliga will be all too familiar with Lewandowski and his goals, as he scored 22 of them in Borussia Dortmund colours this year, guiding them to their second successive German title. His hatrick in the German Cup final contributed significantly to the demolishing of Bayern Munich 5-2, as The Borussians won their first ever domestic double.
There is no question that Poland’s number 9 is a goal getter. His goals in Germany this season may have put him on the radar, but he has been a consistent scorer throughout his short career. Prior to his move to Westfalenstadion, Lewandowski scored 41 goals in 82 appearances for Lech Poznan, a commendable rate which he further improved in the Bundesliga this year.
In recent weeks, a move to Old Trafford for Lewandowski has been circulating transfer gossip columns, although the Pole remains tight lipped on any speculation. Polish manager Franciszek Smuda however, has announced that the striker will almost certainly be on his way to Manchester United after Euro 2012, where he will join former teammate Shinji Kagawa.
So where would the Pole fit in should he move to Old Trafford? Last season saw Wayne Rooney playing predominantly as a supporting striker, with Danny Welbeck the first choice as an advanced forward. The proposed arrival of Lewandowski could potentially stunt Welbeck’s development should he find himself behind the Pole in the pecking order.
The most recent target man Sir Alex Ferguson signed was Dimitar Berbatov. Having initially excelled at Spurs, the Bulgarian is now a more prominent figure on the Old Trafford bench than on the pitch if last season is anything to go by. Manchester United failed to accommodate their last target man, and this is something that Lewandowski should be wary of prior to a move away from Dortmund.
At 23, a big move now could potentially excel Lewandowski to one of the best strikers in Europe in a short space of time. Manchester United are desperate to challenge the dominance of their rivals Man City following a season which reached its climax in a gut wrenching final day for United. The Polish forward is just the kind of signing that would be the perfect addition to Sir Alex Ferguson’s team. The creativeness of United that has been further added to with the signing of Shinji Kagawa could make Lewandowski an even more prolific striker at one of the biggest clubs in the world.
Whilst the speculation may suggest Lewandowski is on his way to join the Premier League runners up, there is no guarantee the move will pay off. Although should the move prove to be a success, the Polish striker could excel in spectacular fashion.
However, Borussia Dortmund are hardly one of Europe’s smaller clubs, as the last two seasons have demonstrated thanks to the contribution of their prolific number 9.
Franciszek Smuda may believe Robert Lewandowski is due a move to a big club in the form of Manchester United, but it would be criminal to dismiss Borussia Dortmund and the foundations they already have in place to become one of Europe’s giants once again, something Lewandowski would no doubt play a key part in.