Robert Lewandowski's Bayern Munich Move Displays Die Roten's Bundesliga Monopoly

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistJanuary 4, 2014

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 21:  Robert Lewandowski looks on during a Borussia Dortmund training session ahead of the UEFA Champions League Group F match against Arsenal at Emirates Stadium on October 21, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

The secret's out, and the move that's long been foretold as one of 2014's biggest will finally come to fruition this summer, after it was confirmed that Robert Lewandowski will become a Bayern Munich player.

According to BBC Sport, the Borussia Dortmund striker has agreed a pre-contract agreement with Pep Guardiola's side that will take effect prior to the 2014-15 campaign as a free transfer.

However, while the seemingly inevitable switch may be a time for Bayern Munich fans to rejoice, there are undoubtedly more glum connotations to the move, which again reaffirms Der FCB's status as the irresistible power in the German top flight.

It's nothing new, however, as Bayern have long exploited their Bundesliga brethren in the pursuit of strengthening their own ranks, going about it in all too clinical a fashion and leaving us to do little else than admire the systematic weakening of their foes.

Uli Hoeness (far left) and Karl Heinz Rumenigge (left) greet Lewandowski at last season's Champions League final.
Uli Hoeness (far left) and Karl Heinz Rumenigge (left) greet Lewandowski at last season's Champions League final.Alex Grimm/Getty Images

The last five years have seen Dortmund rise not only to get on par with, but for a period to overcome Die Roten.

Last season, the European and domestic treble achieved by the Bavarian titans sent a statement to the rest of Europe. It read, "We're back."

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 25:  Bastian Schweinsteiger, Thomas Mueller and Philipp Lahm of Bayern Muenchen lift the trophy in celebration alongside team mates after victory in the UEFA Champions League final match between Borussia Dortmund and FC Bayern Muench
Alex Grimm/Getty Images

And while the neutral might enjoy seeing such a star-studded cast amass at the Allianz Arena, it spells out bad news for the rest of Germany's hopefuls who, for a moment, looked as though they might all get a chance at domestic glory.

Lewandowski is but the latest example of Bayern's iron grip on the Bundesliga's finest, with a long line of high-profile moves preceding, moves that have always strengthened Bayern Munich's own squad, but perhaps more importantly, significantly diminished those of their rivals.

WARSAW, POLAND - SEPTEMBER 06: Poland's Robert Lewandowski celebrates after scoring  during the FIFA 2014 World Cup Qualifier between Poland and Montenegro at the National Stadium on September 06, 2013 in Warsaw, Poland.  (Photo by Adam Nurkiewicz/Getty I
Adam Nurkiewicz/Getty Images

Looking back over the last six years or so alone, one can see how tactical the club has been in their recruitment plans.

Mario Goetze, Manuel Neuer, Miroslav Klose, Mario Gomez and Mario Mandzukic are all players who have come to Munich from fellow Bundesliga clubs, only to go on and have great impacts at Bayern.

The list doesn't end there, though.

The Manchester Evening News' David Lynch recently raised the point that, while English football's trait for foreign investment may not be admirable, at least there isn't one club stockpiling the Premier League's best and brightest:

That isn't to say that Guardiola's team are as guilty of spending outside their means as other European giants—they aren't. 

While the likes of Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester City and Monaco (just to name a few) have all benefited greatly from the takeover of foreign figures, the ownership model in the German top flight means that Bayern's record of expenditure is far more sustainable, built from their own fine money management.

But does that make what's essentially the takeover of a league any more acceptable?

One can't blame the club, of course. Squad leaders such as Bastian Schweinsteiger, Philipp Lahm, Thomas Mueller, Toni Kroos and Holger Badstuber have all been raised from within Bayern's youth ranks, an honourable aspect of their growth which they maintain brilliantly.

That being said, Lewandowski's arrival is in direct conflict with such ideals: Bringing in the immediate impact of an established superstar stops any more of such homegrown hopefuls from rising through the hierarchy.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 25:  Robert Lewandowski of  Borussia Dortmund looks dejected as Arjen Robben of Bayern Muenchen scores their second goal during the UEFA Champions League final match between Borussia Dortmund and FC Bayern Muenchen at Wembley Stadium
Alex Grimm/Getty Images

In the end, though, all that will matter is what lies in the trophy cabinet, and Bayern's is as thriving as any other at the moment.

What's more, with Guardiola at their helm (another expensive poach on the club's track record), that trophy count only looks set to rise in the coming seasons.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 01:  Pep Guardiola of FC Bayern Muenchen looks on during a training session at Etihad Stadium on October 1, 2013 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

With Lewandowski leading their attack, the likes of Mandzukic and Claudio Pizarro, both heroes of the club over the years, are left with question marks over their involvement.

Eurosport have reported Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge as saying that Mandzukic is safe at the club, at least for now:

Onwards and upwards, however, with the sky being the limit for one of, if not the wisest spenders in the sport.


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