Manchester United Transfer News: Robert Lewandowski to Sign a 5-Year Deal
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It claims that Borussia Dortmund have agreed to allow Lewandowski to leave for approximately £18 million when he moves into the final year of his contract at the end of the current season.
The risk of losing the highly sought-after marksman on a free transfer is too great a gamble for Dortmund, consequently allowing Manchester United to leverage a deal with the German club.
The rumours linking Lewandowski with a dream move to Old Trafford have persisted for some time now, and despite the signing of Robin van Persie, Sir Alex Ferguson seems intent on securing the 24-year-old’s signature.
Lewandowski’s goal-scoring pedigree is impressive: This season alone, he has scored 10 goals in 16 starts in the German Bundesliga and four in five starts in the UEFA Champions League. He has also made four assists.
However, his potential signing by Manchester United would raise question marks over exactly how he would fit into the first team.
The Premiership leaders already have the highest goal-scoring record of the league campaign so far, with 48 goals from 19 games.
There are also four established strikers in the first-team squad: Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney, Javier Hernandez and Danny Welbeck. Waiting in the wings are young prospects Angelo Henriquez and Will Keane.
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The 4-1-2-1-2 (diamond) could see Rooney at the head of the midfield diamond with van Persie and Lewandowski in front of him. However, this would be a marked departure from the history of Manchester United—it is customary to play with wingers, and the only width would come from the full-backs.
The traditional 4-4-2 would mean Rooney playing in a central midfield two. However, many fans believe this would be too much of a restriction of his attacking capabilities, and the discipline required would shackle his natural creativity.
Of course, there is the possibility of the 4-3-3 accommodating all three big-name strikers up front, but would this make the side top-heavy with a lack of fluidity?
The in-vogue 4-2-3-1 formation would appear to be the most obvious choice to accommodate another new forward, in what will be the final team of Sir Alex Ferguson’s illustrious career. Lewandowski would play as the lone striker with Rooney, Shinji Kagawa and van Persie as the attacking midfield three.
Van Persie has already described his and Rooney's playing position as a “nine-and-a-half,” thus able to roam between the AMC/FC and SC positions seamlessly. Wayne has often played as an old inside left, and van Persie has been seen on the right when he has dropped deep this season.
This leaves Kagawa to operate directly behind his former teammate at Dortmund, Lewandowski—a partnership that returned 35 league goals and 16 assists for the German Champions last season, according to WhoScored.com.
This option would still be a departure from Manchester United’s long tradition of playing with width. But Antonio Valencia, Ashley Young and perhaps even Nani (if he remains at the club) could rotate into two of the three attacking midfield roles and stretch the 4-2-3-1 wide.
One thing for sure: If United do invest in Lewandowski, it will be fascinating watching yet another of Sir Alex Ferguson's master plans unfold.
How do you think Robert Lewandowski could fit into Manchester United’s side? Give me your thoughts below or hit me up on Twitter @jonathanbeever.
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