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Signing Robert Lewandowski will be a game changer for Chelsea

Sunday 5th August 2018

A tree cannot make a forest, or so the saying goes. Robert Lewandowski had a disappointing World Cup, but Poland's problems went far beyond the striker. The ruthless finisher is time-tested and proven. From humble beginnings in his homeland to Borussia Dortmund, then Bayern Munich, he has fired himself all the way to the top, but Lewi may well be ready for another challenge.

Recruiting a new agent before the World Cup sparked questions about his future. There is no shortage of suitors for a top-notch assassin. Even though he is contracted to the German giants through 2021, other clubs are willing to push their luck. That includes Chelsea.

Antonio Conte’s biggest mistake was banishing Diego Costa. The Spanish international was instrumental to the Italian's Premier league title run. It's no coincidence the Brazilian-born star came away with two Premier League titles in his three Stamford Bridge seasons. He scored 59 goals for the club.

Since his departure, the club has struggled to replicate its previous form. A lack of goals denied the North London side League qualification last term. The manager's continued public frustration with the club hierarchy for not backing him was symptomatic of the underlying problem. Conte made the bed in which he no longer lies.

The Italian mismanaged his resources and the club suffered for it. Even though the club would not pay for Romelu Lukaku to replace Costa, settling for Alvaro Morata, Conte had in-house options to cover for the inefficient Spaniard. Olivier Giroud had no business leaving Arsenal's bench to command a place in Chelsea's team as a regular starter at 31 while Michy Batshuayi was banging in goals every time he came off the bench. Why send his productivity to Borussia Dortmund?

With three goals in 13 EPL matches, Chelsea received fair value for their poor choice. Four strikes in 18 appearances for Arsenal brought the Frenchman's total tally to seven goals in 31 outings. Compare that to Costa's 20 goals in 36 games the previous season and the gap between the two is crystal clear.

With the situation untenable, Conte was let go despite having a year left on his contract. Maurizio Sarri came in as his replacement.

The former Napoli gaffer is on a rebuilding mission. One of the distinguishing factors of a dominant team is the calibre of players that represent it. Real Madrid have Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, Marcelo, Sergio Ramos, Raphael Varane, Isco and Gareth Bale even if they no longer boast Cristiano Ronaldo. From the defence to midfield and then attack, the team is solid. Little wonder they've won the Champions League back-to-back-to-back.

Sarri brought Jorginho with him because he realised the importance of strengthening Chelsea's midfield. Without a top class striker, however, the team remains short on quality whether or not Alvaro Morata stays. Gonzalo Higuain chose to remain in Italy with AC Milan rather than come to England. Hence, Sarri's reported desire to sign Lewandowski.

Needless to say, the towering striker is a difference maker. With 40 goals in 50 appearances, 29 in 33 Bundesliga games, for Bayern in 2017/18, he is exactly what is missing in the squad.

There are problems, though. To start, it is not clear the Polish captain wants to move to England. Rumours are he prefers Real Madrid. Then, as mentioned, he still has three years left on his Bayern contract. The German champions have no reason to sell.

If die Roten entertain any offer, the price will be steep. Chelsea are not Paris Saint-Germain. Roman Abramovic has become a cautious man when it comes to spending money. The Blues no longer spend freely.

Despite the striker's value, Sarri won't follow Conte down a ruinous path. He won't clash with the board. Batshuayi is recovered from the injury he suffered at Dortmund and back with Chelsea. The new boss may give him a chance. The hard truth is he is Chelsea's most promising option this season.

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Emmanuel Odey

Emmanuel is a freelance journalist who lives and breathes the round leather game. He is a contributor on several platforms. You can follow him on Twitter for more.

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