Is Robert Lewandowski Proving Dortmund Are Priority After Summer Transfer Links?
As Henrikh Mkhitaryan ran off in jubilation across the Waldstadion turf, towards the Dortmund dugout with his fists and smile riding high, it was telling of just how much his second-half goal meant to the title-chasing side.
The weekend's Bundesliga football was coming to a close, and rather than the pompous look of Thiago Alcantara or Mario Gotze, in the dark red of Bavaria, smiling in the Monday papers, it would be the cheery grin of Dortmund's star Romanian striker. For Dortmund were on their way to beating Eintracht Frankfurt and pulling two points ahead of Bayern Munich in the German title race.
A two-point lead after four games is of course nothing to truly write home about, but it does offer an interesting opportunity to appreciate the 100 percent record that Jurgen Klopp's side have maintained since the start of the season.
Yet aside from the bold transfers of Henrikh Mkhitaryan and fellow forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, what has really sparked Dortmund back to life is the manner in which Klopp has got them all playing for one another once again. The manager has really re-harnessed that do-or-die spirit that won them two consecutive titles.
The real surprise inclusion in this squad rehabilitation has of course been Polish striker Robert Lewandowski, who fought with the club for much of the summer to move to rivals Bayern Munich before accepting to stay on for a final year, and just how well he's continued to perform as Dortmund's primary goalscorer.
Lewandowski's services have obviously always been an important part of Dortmund's success since Klopp took over at the Westfalenstadion, and to sweeten the striker's final season at the club, he was rewarded with a new lucrative contract worth £4.3 million a year.
Two days later Dortmund played Werder Bremen in a tricky home tie, which ended with a solitary goal to split the two sides. Lewandowski was the goalscorer and the sole reason for their victory.
The cultured striker has led the line for Dortmund in each of their four Bundesliga ties, picking up two goals and an assist along the way, as he seems set on continuing the form that made him one of the most deadly strikers in Europe last season.
Gotze's absence, however surprising and equally destructive as it was to Dortmund, now seems a thing of the past as Mkhitaryan and Aubameyang, to a lesser extent, have come in to the squads and looked anything but alien or intrusive to the style of play that has won the hearts of so many neutrals the world over.
Mkhitaryan in particular has truly blossomed in the No. 10 role that Gotze once played, and despite his obvious similarities to Lewandowski, in the manner in which they attack an opponent's defence, both players have worked off each other perfectly. It would seem from initial accounts that Dortmund's record signing, however bold and risky, may well pay off this season.
It would take a cynical mind to watch the forward play for Dortmund this season and assume that he simply didn't care. As physical and relentless as he has been at any time in his Dortmund career, the Polish international strikes you as a man who simply can't help but enjoy himself when he's on a football pitch.
Far from some of the more egotistical strikers and star forwards that litter the beautiful game today, Lewandowski is driven by a simple, natural desire to always win. It was an instinctual reaction to always continue moving forward that made him jump at a move to Bayern Munich, and, ironically, it's that same attitude that will drive him on for the season to come.
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