Can Arsenal or Chelsea capitalize on Lewandowski switch?

Borussia Dortmund V Bayern Munich2

Borussia Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski has revealed to the German media he expects to confirm a move on a free transfer to Bayern Munich in January.

The wantaway Polish hitman had hoped to move to the Bundesliga and European champions this summer but his current club Dortmund blocked the switch despite their knowledge that could walk away for free next summer.

"At this moment, it is still too early and we'll have to wait a bit. But I think, I can leave in January," the 25-year-old explained of his proposed pre-contract deal with Bayern Munich.

Manchester United and Chelsea had been linked this summer with the striker but the player only had eyes for Bayern, by all accounts. He will likely join up with former Dortmund teammate Mario Gotze who made the switch this summer to the Allianz Arena.

Meanwhile, Chelsea’s misfiring frontmen have come under scrutiny in recent weeks – Fernando Torres remains the only one of Chelsea’s strikers to have hit the back of net so far this term and his two goals in all competitions is way below the par boss Jose Mourinho will expect of a title-challenging side.

New signing Samuel Eto’o has had a woeful start to his career at Stamford Bridge, thrashing at and wasting countless opportunities so far this season in front of goal.

Meanwhile, Demba Ba had been hopeful of a loan move to Arsenal on deadline day but Mourinho blocked his deadline day switch after the Gunners signed Mesut Ozil. Ba is likely to be a peripheral figure at Stamford Bridge this term and the Gunners are still over reliant on their only recognized centre forward Olivier Giroud until January at the earliest.

Long-term injury to Lukas Podolski as well as Theo Walcott and youngster Yaya Sanogo means Arsene Wenger could find himself relying on Nicklas Bendtner to cover for Giroud. The Dane hasn’t scored a goal for Arsenal since early 2011 and has not been in form or fitness prior to his unsuccessful loan move to Juventus last term.

With the imminent arrival of Lewandowski at the Allianz Arena – either in January or in May as the case may be – Bayern Munich striker Mario Mandzukic may find his status in Pep Guardiola’s team changes.

The 27-year-old Croatian striker has himself been in fine form of late – he’s scored four goals in six Bundesliga appearances so far this term. He recently told Gazzetta dello Sport he wishes to remain in Munich for the rest of his career, if it’s up to him but, that being the caveat, he may find himself ousted from favour with the arrival of last year’s top scorer in Germany.

Could Chelsea or Arsenal find a way to capitalize on the likely uncertainty over his position in Guardiola’s squad? He’s perfectly built for the Premier League at 6ft2” tall, strong and powerful, with a fine right foot. Last term he ousted Germany striker Mario Gomez from his centre forward position for much of the season with his 22 goals in all competitions for Bayern.

Subsequently, Gomez opted to move abroad and signed for Fiorentina this summer but with the imminent arrival of Lewandowski, Mandzukic may find himself in the same position.

image: © (Mick Baker)rooster

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