Bayern Munich should sell Robert Lewandowski and build a German core for the future if the Polish striker is not happy with the club’s recruitment policy, says Stefan Effenberg.
Lewandowski has been outspoken in his views of Bayern’s project, telling Spiegel: “Bayern has to come up with something new and be creative, if the club wants to keep luring world-class players to Munich. And if you want to keep up at the very highest level, you need these players’ quality.”
Club legend Effenberg is, however, of the opinion that those at the Allianz Arena are favouring the right approach, as they look for home-grown talent, and has called on the club to move out those who refuse to buy into that philosophy – even if that means parting with a striker who has netted 116 times in just 152 appearances.
Effenberg wrote in a column for t-online.de: “On the one hand, he’s attacked the philosophy of the club. Uli Hoeness has already said several times that they will not spend totals by €100 million or €150m. He also attacked his colleagues, who in his opinion apparently did not have the quality to win what he wants: the Champions League.
“I said a few weeks ago that Bayern are in danger of losing touch with PSG and Barcelona if they are not willing to pay these sums. However, Lewandowski is a player - in this role, he should not express such statements publicly. In addition, the decision of Uli Hoeness is now irrefutable and the quality of the team is high despite ‘low’ expenditure.”
He added: “After the new development centre is finally finished, I see today a huge potential in a completely different strategy: FC Bayern Germany.
“We have so many highly talented, potential world-class players in Germany - not 15 but 30 to 40! They have won the World Cup, the Confederations Cup and the European Under 21 Championship.
“This is exactly the opposite of what Lewandowski demands. €100m, €150m or €200m for international superstars? For this sum you get five or six players in Germany.
“Bayern already have [Manuel] Neuer, [Mats] Hummels, [Jerome] Boateng, [Joshua] Kimmich, [Sebastian] Rudy, [Niklas] Sule, and, of course, Thomas Muller. Why not expand this? For Timo Werner, it would be a logical next step to switch to Bayern. I cannot imagine that he would say ‘I'm going abroad’ or ‘I'm staying with Leipzig’ if they came calling.
“[Leon] Goretzka and [Emre] Can for the midfield, [Jonas] Hector for the left flank, [Julian] Brandt, [Benjamin] Henrichs, [Kai] Havertz, [Kerem] Demirbay, [Amin] Younes and [Max] Arnold… you could spend around €150m and have a team that know how to stand together. That is why they would be successful in Europe.
“If Bayern wants to go for this strategy, then they must fully commit. They have to separate themselves consistently from the foreign top players in the coming years, including Lewandowski. He could go to Paris, where such enormous sums are paid, or Barcelona. Then he has a club that does what he wants.”
Lewandowski joined Bayern from Borussia Dortmund in 2014.
The 29-year-old has been prolific through his time in Germany, but he has generated speculation through many recent transfer windows and could take on a new challenge if all concerned decide that a change of scenery is required.