With a UEFA Champions League Final on the horizon, it would be hard for anyone at Chelsea to take their eye off the present. In what would be a third showpiece Final for the club, a win would see Chelsea comfortably become the biggest club in the capital. With an outstanding trophy haul since Roman Abramovich first came into the club, Chelsea have made their name with a spree of major signings. For years, though, the club has focused more on signing younger players with a potential long-term value to the club. As opposed to eyeing players up for a future sale, Chelsea want long-term signees. There are plenty of examples of players arriving at the club even years before getting their senior debuts. Chelsea signed Billy Gilmour at in 2017 when he was 16. Only two years later he first played for the Chelsea first team in a pre-season friendly.
However, with talk that a move for the likes of Erling Haaland or Romelu Lukaku might not be possible, another name has arrived. Though a far more short-term fix, the striker linked offers Chelsea a near-guarantee of goals: Robert Lewandowski.
The Polish striker has reportedly asked Bayern Munich to either up his wages massively or see him leave the club. The 32-year-old has scored 40 goals in all competitions this year, and is arguably still in his professional peak as a striker. For over a decade he has been one of the most consistently guaranteed strikers for regular goals in the top level of the game.
However, with his contract running down, his representatives have asked for an extension as well as a pay rise. With Bayern currently in the process of losing Davide Alaba for much the same reasons, then there is a likelihood that the Bavarians will say no.
Coincidentally, losing Lewandowksi would likely see them make an inter-league move and bring in Erling Haaland in the summer of 2022. Or, they might sign Timo Werner from Chelsea as he was also a long-term Bayern target.
Can Chelsea really compete for Robert Lewandowski?
Though it might sound fanciful, it comes down to two reasons: competitive ability, and financial affordability. Previously linked with moves to either Italy or Spain, it is clear that no clubs in either country could realistically match (or improve upon) his salary. Financial remits are changing, even for clubs like Real Madrid. This would leave Chelsea as one of the beneficiaries of this changing of the financial guard.
Why? Because if other major continental clubs cannot complete the signing, Chelsea makes the most sense. He would be joining a European winner or finalist, who can pay huge wages, and offers the chance to compete for honours at all levels. From a lifestyle perspective, he could live in the plushest part of London and enjoy celebrity life. From a competitive standpoint, he gets to play in the most competitive league in the world and, at 32, carry a trend of legendary forwards from Europe arriving in the Premier League in their post-peak years to deliver consistent performances.
For Chelsea fans, one thing is for certain – a new striker will arrive. And while names like Lukaku and Haaland have dominated headlines, it might actually be that Lewandowski makes the most realistic sense.