Let’s just start with this preface: Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski is the best striker in the world and the best player in the world. Any club that he is on should do everything it can to keep him in tow because, well, he is just that good.
For Bayern Munich, however, the Poland international has made it clear that he wants to move on and that there is zero chance that he will extend his deal with the club. This is not hardball negotiating or a plot for more money — Lewandowski just wants to skip town.
While his exit would leave Bayern Munich with a Jupiter-sized hole in its offense, the time has come for the three parties (Bayern Munich, FC Barcelona, and Lewandowski) to put their heads together and work out a deal.
Keeping an unhappy player against his will is fundamentally wrong and will be a season-long distraction. Moreover, having potentially two players in the same situation (Lewandowski and Serge Gnabry) will be even more of an issue because of the daily grind of questions that the front office, coaches, and players will have to answer. A season of what ifs and why nots from the media is not something that any team needs.
Moreover, there is little doubt that Lewandowski is going to leave. The re-build from losing him needs to start as soon as possible...delaying the inevitable will serve no one.
Yes, there are several implications for selling him now:
1 - The revenue generated from a longer run in the Champions League will likely exceed any transfer fee gained on a sale of Lewandowski.
2 - There is no one capable of replacing what he does for Bayern Munich.
That said, waiting to start this re-boot of Bayern Munich’s squad does not make sense. There is a new coach with a ready-made next generation of players ready to lead the club, while other veterans like Manuel Neuer and Thomas Müller give the last points of guidance on how to lead the club into the next era.
If Lewandowski wants to leave, is not invested in the project at the club any more, and has even made veiled threats about holding out, then just let him go.
And before the mob starts to gather the pitchforks and torches to run him out of downtown Munich like he was Franken-dowski, it is key to remember that the club is not an innocent bystander here.
There is a clear pattern of behavior from the club that is translating to a feeling of being unappreciated by the players. There is also a clear gap in what players consider is an open line of communication compared to what the front office thinks.
Bayern Munich might not have caused Lewandowski to want to leave (though it is possible the club did just that), but the last calendar year of letting this situation simmer without a proactive approach to address the issue did not help.
Lewandowski has been an integral figure to the club’s history and is one of the all-time great players to ever don the Bayern Munich kit. Now, however, it is time for him to move on — and the club should let him do just that.