Robert Lewandowski has revealed he wanted to leave Bayern Munich this summer because he felt the club did not support him enough last season.
Per Goal's Robin Bairner, the Pole has spent the summer linked with the likes of Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid having grown unhappy at Bayern, and he has explained why he wanted to leave.
He told Sport Bild (h/t Bairner):
"In April and May everyone criticised me. And I felt no protection from the club, I felt alone.
"I scored no goals in two or three important games and suddenly everyone was saying: 'Open fire against Lewandowski!' I did not see anyone who supported me at the time. Neither of the club bosses defended me. I did not feel good in Munich at that moment. Being at Bayern did not fit for me at that time."
The striker has since remained with the club, though, and said he is no longer thinking of an exit from Bayern: "I noticed that in Munich the fans support me. I realised that they still want me here. I will never strike, never mess with the club. I'm not wasting any thought on another club now."
He was also convinced by new manager Niko Kovac (h/t Goal's Ronan Murphy):
Lewandowski failed to score in either the quarter-finals or the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League last season.
Bayern scraped through 2-1 on aggregate against Sevilla in the former, while in the latter they lost 4-3 overall to Real Madrid.
Had Lewandowski been his usual self against Los Blancos, the Bavarians might have edged them out to reach the Champions League final. Criticism of him feels somewhat unfair, though, given he netted 41 and assisted five in 48 matches last season.
The striker has got this campaign off to a bang already, having netted four goals in two matches including a hat-trick against Eintracht Frankfurt in the DFL-Supercup:
The 30-year-old's goals have reiterated his importance to the club, who will be relieved to have retained his services for the season barring a late U-turn before the transfer window closes.
Bayern will hope he can fire them through to the Champions League final this time around, but should he struggle or come in for more criticism this season they'll have to be much more vocal in their support of him to keep him happy.