It seems frankly absurd to claim that two footballers as talented as Robert Lewandowski and Romelu Lukaku are unwanted. And yet a mixture of speculation and circumstance suggests that is exactly what they are.
The speculation surrounds Lewandowski, with previous reports suggesting an agreed move to Bayern Munich is on the rocks. Followed by a downright bonkers story claiming the German champions would sign the Pole only to swap him for Sergio Aguero almost instantly.
While the circumstance surrounds Lukaku, one of the Premier League’s most talented strikers deemed surplus to requirements at Stamford Bridge for a second successive season.
Those who read my articles regularly will know my feelings regarding the Belgian. But for those who do not, here is the abridged version: Chelsea are crazy to have sent him on loan to Everton.
Granted, it is not an original thought; but the very fact that it is one shared by many surely nudges the opinion at least a little closer towards truth.
Given that Lukaku continually stated his intention to fight for his place at Chelsea only to be temporarily shown the door on transfer deadline day, how much longer is he willing to remain at a club who stumped up millions but proceeded to lend him out like an expensive purchase you go off the moment you bring it home?
Next summer, the 20-year-old will have just two years left on his contract, and he will surely think long and hard before signing a new one – should it be offered – given his failure to break through thus far.
Contrastingly, come June Lewandowski will have no time left on his deal at Borussia Dortmund. And by then the world will know a decision that once seemed inevitable but is now tinged with more than a sliver of doubt.
“I will reveal my future next year,” the Polish striker recently told Sport Bild. “No one needs to get in touch with me anymore.”
Perhaps come January he will announce he is heading for the Allianz Arena and everyone will sigh at the anti-climax. Or perhaps he will throw a curve-ball, announcing his plans to work under a manager in Jose Mourinho who would love to take him to London.
Should Lewandowski sign for Chelsea, Lukaku’s time there would surely be all-but-up, and while Arsenal will no doubt be disappointed to miss out on one of Europe’s most dangerous strikers, a move for the young Belgian would be quite the consolation prize.
Lukaku would thrive at the Emirates, just as he has at both The Hawthorns and at Goodison Park. And with a young, vibrant and swiftly-improving team, he could be the final piece in an already-impressive jigsaw.
Whether Chelsea would sell him to the Gunners is another question, but Arsene Wenger should at least try to make it happen.
Improving all the time, Lukaku is becoming more than just a free-scoring battering-ram. Under Wenger, he could polish his remaining rough edges and form a formidable strike partnership with Olivier Giroud, as well being an alternative to the Frenchman when required.
So if two seemingly unwanted men were suddenly wanted, they could change the footballing landscape in England, proving to be the final touches that saw Arsenal and Chelsea fight it out at the top of the table, leaving their rivals in their wake.
Then again, Lewandowski could end up in Munich and Lukaku could continue his jaunt around the Premier League’s middle-men. But neither would be the right move.
image: © wshjackson