Yesterday saw the end of one of the longest and most predictable transfer sagas of recent times, when Robert Lewandowski agreed to move to Bayern Munich next summer.
For his current club Borussia Dortmund, it was another blow as they attempt to continue the fine form of recent seasons. And yet while Mario Gotze’s departure prompted considerable sadness on the part of manager Jurgen Klopp, he was more reflective when considering the Polish striker’s future.
Speaking to German newspaper Bild, Klopp said, “The timing is completely unproblematic. We have long been aware that he is leaving us. It would have been worse if he had gone to Leverkusen.”
It was an interesting take on an inevitable outcome.
With Bayern already head-and-shoulders above everyone else, the fact they have added another world-class player to their ranks does not alter Dortmund’s mind-set a great deal.
Of course Klopp must now replace the 25-year-old, but had he moved to Sami Hyypia’s Bayer Leverkusen, Dortmund may have found themselves competing for third-place at best (something they arguably are already).
It is all very much speculation, yet the job former Liverpool defender Hyypia is doing at Leverkusen suggests he is on the road to managerial greatness. That is something Klopp – who is on the same road – will be all too aware of.
For once a manager has lost their best player yet looked on the bright side. Only time will tell if he still feels that way next season.
But before that, Lewandowski surely owes his current club a fine finish to his time there, to ensure Klopp’s men do not fall further behind the three clubs currently above them.
image: © Dmitry Neymyrok