The topic of discussion is always right below the surface. Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland is widely viewed as a natural replacement or successor to Robert Lewandowski at Bayern Munich once the Polish ace finally moves on from life in Bavaria. On paper, without question, Haaland is the second best striker in the Bundesliga behind Lewandowski and you’d be hard pressed to find someone to argue otherwise.
For former Bayern and Germany striker Mario Gomez, he recently expressed in an interview with Abendzeitung that his former club shouldn’t have to worry about trying to sign Haaland so long as Lewandowski continues to stay remarkably fit for purpose. Few strikers across the footballing world boast as positive of an injury record, or lack thereof, as Lewandowski, so it’s relatively safe to assume that he still has a handful of significant seasons at the top level ahead of him. Gomez feels that those remaining seasons would be best spent staying at Bayern for now.
“If Lewandowski stays so fit, Bayern doesn’t need Haaland,” Gomez stated when he was asked about the heavily touted narrative of Haaland eventually replacing Lewandowski. The Dortmund striker does have a release clause in his current contract that could see him leave the club during the summer transfer window, but it’s been reported that he and his agent, the infamous Mino Raiola, would be asking for an annual salary of 50 million euros. A figure like that, historically speaking, would be astronomical for Bayern, for whom Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Uli Hoeness, Hasan Salihamidzic, and Oliver Kahn have been vociferous with their distaste of the over inflation in today’s transfer market.
“What you hear and read about salary — I can’t imagine Bavaria going along with that. If you extend with Kimmich and Goretzka, the pillars of the future, you can hardly bring in an external player who then earns a lot more. Although Joshua might even accept that, given Haaland’s worth. But if Lewandowski stays so fit, Bayern doesn’t need Haaland anyway,” Gomez commented on Bayern’s current wage structure.
It would be rather anti-Bayern to bring in a superstar and have them ultimately become the highest earner at the club right off of the bat, especially when one of the main criteria for the recent extensions of Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka was accepting lower salaries than they genuinely feel they’re worth. For them, it was more important to keep the current core of players together at Bayern, consistent with the club’s deeply rooted values.
Lastly, Gomez was asked how many more years he felt Lewandowski could continue to least the line for Bayern, to which he replied, “three or four more years in any case.” If he’s able to stay as fit as he has been, there’s really no reason why he shouldn’t be able to achieve that feat, boosted by the fact that the core players of Bayern’s squad seem to really want to keep the team together for the most part.