What’s the moral of this story? Be careful what you wish for.
When Robert Lewandowski left Bayern Munich for FC Barcelona in the summer of 2022, he was the best striker in the world at the time. The Bavarians got a sweet deal for a player in his early thirties, netting €45m up front with another €5m in bonuses based on goals scored. That second €5m is starting to look like a lost cause right now, with Robert Lewandowski currently a shadow of his former self at Barca.
With 13 games played in La Liga and the Champions League, the Polish hitman has managed to score only 6 goals with a further 4 assists on top. His last goal was against Celta Vigo all the way back in September — he has failed to register a single goal contribution in the six games he has played since.
It is not clear how much of Lewy’s struggles are down to the ankle injury he sustained last month, or the fact that Barcelona don’t have a character like Thomas Müller who can supply him with assists. Many Blaugranes blame the coach, Xavi, for his inability to unlock his team’s potential in attack. In any case, one thing is clear — Lewandowski had it much better at Bayern Munich, and he probably knows it too.
Now you have the inevitable links to MLS, a clear sign of a career in decline. In the meantime, Bayern have moved on — a new superstar striker is in the house. Harry Kane is looking like he might blow Lewy’s records out of the water, and he’s doing it while still learning the ins-and-outs of his teammates and the new system. Even after scoring 19 goals in 15 games so far this season, he looks like he could go up another level or two.
Bayern Munich does not miss Robert Lewandowski, but he may soon realize (if he hasn’t already) that he misses Bayern Munich. Maybe he realized it last season, when Bayern knocked his team down into the Europa League. Or maybe it’ll be the shock of losing his scoring ability that finally makes him admit what Leon Goretzka already said last year, that “Lewandowski was spoiled at Bayern Munich.”
It’s unfortunate that Lewandowski’s decline means that his former club may not get the full €50m transfer fee out of selling him. Still, it’s a tidy profit, and the funds were reinvested well. Things are not perfect, but they could be a whole lot worse.