As Manchester City continue their search for a new striker, Bayern Munich forward Robert Lewandowski is the latest high-profile player to be linked with a move to the Etihad this summer.
As reported by the MEN, striker Harry Kane is one of City’s two big transfer targets this summer, along with Aston Villa star Jack Grealish, but getting both may depend on a high-profile departure taking place.
But recent reports have also linked City with Bayern striker Lewandowski, who played under Pep Guardiola in his time in Bavaria. The Polish forward has scored 306 goals in all competitions for Bayern Munich, with 41 of those coming in the Bundesliga last season as he broke the Bundesliga record for most goals in a single campaign, previously held by Gerd Müller for 49 years.
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The 32-year-old could offer a cheaper alternative should City fail in their attempts to lure Kane away from London, particularly with Lewandowski in the last two years of his contract at Bayern.
So, what would happen if Lewandowski was to reunite with his former Bayern boss and join City ahead of next season?
This is what happened!
We ‘signed’ Robert Lewandowski for City this summer
To set up this simulation, we used the Football Manager 2021 editor to arrange for Lewandowski to join City ahead of the new season.
Lewandowski slotted straight into the focal point of City’s attack, with one of Bernardo Silva, Riyad Mahrez and Raheem Sterling either side of the Polish forward, as Phil Foden moved into midfield.
Let’s take a look at the 32-year-old’s performances across all competitions and how he performed on the virtual pitch for Guardiola’s side.
Robert Lewandowski’s stats for City in 2021/22
Lewandowski made a total of 48 appearances for City across all competitions, scoring 28 goals and registering five assists in his debut season.
The Polish striker was the top scorer at the club, just missing out on the Premier League golden boot by three goals, but Lewandowski would have won it had he not missed seven league games through injury.
Lewandowski had no problems fitting into Guardiola’s system at City, having a positive impact on Sterling’s performances in particular as the Englishman scored a total of 22 goals and registered seven assists in all competitions.
The 32-year-old’s average rating of 7.83 was only bettered by Kevin De Bruyne (7.95) and Sterling (7.87), placing Lewandowski as one of the top three performers for City throughout the 2021/22 season.
At the end of the 2021/22 season, Football Manager 2021 put together an overall best City XI, based on performances, statistics and other metrics.
Manchester City’s best XI features Robert Lewandowski for the 2021/22 season as predicted by Football Manager 2021.
Full City best XI: Ederson; Walker, Laporte, Stones, Cancelo; Rodri, De Bruyne, Foden; Silva, Lewandowski, Sterling.
So how did City perform across all competitions in our simulated season with Lewandowski leading the line?
City’s simulated 2021/22 season with Lewandowski
Here is how the final 2021/22 league table looked once the simulation finished at the end of May 2022.
Manchester City finished in first position, winning back-to-back titles and finishing an impressive nine points clear of Liverpool in second in the Premier League 2021/22.
Manchester City won the Premier League, securing back-to-back titles and finishing an impressive nine points clear of Liverpool in second in the Premier League 2021/22.
With Lewandowski in the team, no other side could get near City’s goalscoring output.
City also reached the semi-finals of the Champions League before eventually being knocked out narrowly by PSG 3-2 on aggregate, as well as being knocked out of the FA Cup fifth round by rivals Manchester United and the Carabao Cup quarter-finals on penalties to Liverpool.
Manchester City’s performances across all competitions in the 2021/22 season.
Football Manager 2021 predicts that Lewandowski could fill the void left by Aguero, and could have a spectacular debut season under Pep Guardiola, finishing the season as the club’s top scorer.
The simulation showed that Lewandowski is a quality alternative to Harry Kane and would come at a much cheaper price than the Spurs striker, as the Polish striker fired City to a second consecutive title, despite just falling short in both the domestic and European cup competitions.
The addition of Lewandowski seemed to have a significant impact on his teammates with Sterling and De Bruyne benefitting in particular as they performed at a consistently high level across all competitions throughout the 2021/22 season.
Would you take a second consecutive Premier League title at the expense of cup success? And, would you be happy to see City sign Robert Lewandowski ahead of Harry Kane this summer? Let us know in the comments!