The rarity of the free transfer made Robert Lewandowski's choice to move from Borussia Dortmund to Bayern Munich a highly talked about subject in football pubs everywhere. His transfer came with fanfare, but his move appeared underwhelming at first as he struggled to establish himself with Bayern. It was he who stepped up the biggest though when Franck Ribéry and Arjen Robben went down for the count. Bayern have not held on to strikers for very long in recent seasons, but they are probably going to hold onto this one.
His Season Performance
Playing most of his career as a back-to-goal striker who held up the play and finished of service into the penalty area, Lewandowski had to transform as a striker in order to fit into his new surroundings. Playing with Robben and Thomas Müller, both players who like to occupy the penalty area, chances did not necessarily fall Lewandowski's way. It got to the point where a sit against Shaktar Donetsk made naïve outsiders think he does not fit into Guardiola's plans.
Then came the subsequent demises of Ribéry and Robben, which made Lewandowski the de facto primary scoring option. He grasped that mantle, scoring 15 of his 25 goals in all competition in the Rückrunde. Not even a jaw fracture and a broken nose could derail him from his form. He came up just short for his second straight Torjägerkanone, this in spite of his slow start. He is not a type of striker Bayern has had before, and he is not far away from becoming the best striker in the world.
Next Season's Prospects
The scary thought is how much better Lewandowski will get now that he his more settled wearing a red kit instead of a yellow one. The only question that remains is whether the Robbery returns will once again hinder the presence he can have. What could be different next year is the commanding presence Lewandowski showed in the second half of last season, one that, at the very least, could open up channels for attacking players to run into. If Bayern are title contenders again next season, Lewandowski will be a big reason why.