Robert Lewandowski has been nothing short of a sensation for Bayern Munich since his move from Borussia Dortmund in 2014. The Pole’s switch from Die Schwarz-Gelben to Bayern allowed the Bavaria-based outfit to enjoy a stranglehold of the Bundesliga due to his sheer brilliance in front of goal. Only Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have scored more goals in the major European leagues over the last eight years, highlighting how effective he has been in the final third and the foolish decision of the Dortmund hierarchy to allow him to remain in Germany rather than sell Lewandowski overseas.
Bayern are once again on the charge towards the Bundesliga crown for a 10th season in a row, and if you visit Space Casino you will see that their odds are overwhelming encouraging to achieve the feat, being backed at 1/50 to win the title. Julian Nagelsmann’s side should ease their way over the line without a problem and Lewandowski will no doubt lead the goalscoring charts.
However, all good things must come to an end and we have seen elsewhere at Real Madrid and Barcelona that the era after great players can be a difficult transition. Lewandowski will be 34 in August, and the Pole has already spoken about the possibility of playing elsewhere. To remain the dominant force in German football and a perennial contender for the Champions League crown, the Bavaria-based outfit must begin planning for life without their star man.
The obvious candidate is Erling Haaland, who has starred for Dortmund over the last three years. Haaland has a clause in his contract that will allow him to leave Signal Iduna Park in the summer. The Norway international will be the most-sought player on the market, and Dortmund are unlikely to make the same mistake twice. Barcelona and Manchester City are reportedly leading the race for the 22-year-old, which may force Bayern to turn elsewhere in their succession plan. Kylian Mbappe will be too rich for Bayern’s blood too if he were to leave Paris Saint-Germain, with Real Madrid courting the France international.
If Bayern were to look at options within the Bundesliga then Patrik Schick would have to be top of their agenda. The 26-year-old was one of the leading lights for Czech Republic at Euro 2020, notching five goals in the competition including a memorable brace against Scotland. Schick has taken his game to new heights in the Bundesliga with Bayer Leverkusen, notching 18 goals after 17 matches. Whether he would be able to transfer that form under the pressure of playing for Bayern is another matter both in terms of chasing the title and the Champions League. It would be a gamble for Nagelsmann and company.
Another alternative could be Timo Werner, who cannot hold down a regular place in the Chelsea team. The German has struggled immensely in front of goal since his move to the Premier League, and could be eyeing a switch back home. Werner and Nagelsmann worked together at RB Leipzig and a transfer would seemingly be a good fit if he can regain his scoring prowess in the final third.
Bayern could also pursue the Manchester City route and operate without a central striker. Pep Guardiola opted not to replace Sergio Aguero after he left the club at the end of his contract. Guardiola relied on Phil Foden, Jack Grealish, Kevin De Bruyne, Gabriel Jesus, Riyad Mahrez and Raheem Sterling to fire his team towards the Premier League, and it appears to have been a successful move. Bayern can recreate the same philosophy with Thomas Muller, Kingsley Coman, Leroy Sane, Jamal Musiala, Serge Gnabry, Leon Goretzka and even Joshua Zirkzee in the future.
The future without Lewandowski could be a scary prospect for Bayern supporters, but the club do have options to pursue should the worst come to pass.