Let me preface this by saying that I am a pretty strong admirer of Robert Lewandowski. I’ve spent a lot of time in these last few years scouting the wonderkid Mario Gotze and it has given me a great opportunity to check out the rest of the team, including Lewandowski.
To keep it short and simple, Lewandowski is a Polish Hernandez (or van Nistelrooy, if you want to get nostalgic). Out of the 30 goals he scored last season, not a single one of them was outside of the box. Nearly every single goal was assisted by another player setting Lewandowski free. Nearly 90% of his goals are in or around the six yard box. He’s a poacher.
Now there are great traits about Lewandowski that Hernandez doesn’t have. Lewandowski is pretty good with both feet. He’s a little bit faster than Hernandez and he’s very good in the air. In fact, many of Lewandowski’s best goals this season came from set pieces through the air.
Add the fact that a poacher would be an ideal striker for the system Chelsea are trying to go for – he could be that one player that can slip in behind the opponent’s defense and finish clinically.
So why is he not worth the £35m fee?
He won’t get any better. Poachers rarely get better. Hernandez went backwards this year when teams found ways to better mark him. Van Nistelrooy’s first year was always his best with a club because teams didn’t know how to deal with his ability to poach.
Lewandowski has also struggled mightily for his national team when he doesn’t get the same level of service he has at BVB. At Dortmund he had Gotze, Kagawa, Kuba and even Hummels to supply the ball to him. What you won’t get from Lewandowski is the tracking back, the dribbling skills or the creativity of Torres. Lewandowski is just not that kind of player.
I definitely think the £13m bid was an insult, but I don’t think he’s worth the £35m fee Dortmund want. All BVB need to do is move Reus up top and give Gotze Kagawa’s position and their team is even better than last year. That’s why BVB would be willing to part with Lewandowski if they can get a sucker to buy. £20m is fair. Anything above that is a robbery.