Robert Lewandowski could have missed his chance to break Gerd Muller’s record for goals in a single Bundesliga season, former Bayern Munich forward Roy Makaay says.
Poland striker Lewandowski suffered knee ligament damage in the 3-0 World Cup qualifying win over Andorra and is facing a month out of action.
The 32-year-old will miss both legs of the Champions League quarter-final with Paris Saint-Germain and most likely league matches against RB Leipzig, Union Berlin, Wolfsburg, Bayer Leverkusen and Mainz.
With 35 goals scored in the first 25 matchdays of the Bundesliga season, Lewandowski had looked almost certain to match Muller’s famous landmark of 40, set back in 1971-72.
However, given the league leaders have only three matches remaining after they face Mainz on April 24, Makaay thinks the record could have slipped beyond Lewandowski’s reach.
The former Netherlands international is also concerned about the options available to coach Hansi Flick when it comes to finding a replacement striker.
“For me, Lewandowski has been the best centre-forward in the world for years. What he does inside and outside the penalty area as a number nine is unbelievable,” he told Spox.
“It certainly won’t be easy [now] for Lewandowski to break the record. This absence is not good news for Bayern. As for his replacement, you’d have to make that [decision] dependent on the opposition. [Serge] Gnabry is more agile than [Eric Maxim] Choupo-Moting.”
However, Makaay remains convinced Lewandowski has plenty yet to offer Bayern in seasons to come, suggesting there would be no pressing need to try to sign Borussia Dortmund sensation Erling Haaland.
“Anyone who scores so consistently at that age can only have a great future ahead of them,” Makaay said of the Norway star. “But Lewandowski still has a few very good years ahead of him, I’m sure of that.”
Makaay, twice a domestic double winner with Bayern, would have relished the chance to play alongside Lewandowski but also identified two other key players he feels would have made his life as a forward easier.
“Lewandowski and I would certainly have made a good partnership, but I’d also have liked to play with a guy like Thomas Muller,” he said.
“The person I really like as a personality is Joshua Kimmich. You want a player like that behind you as a striker. In my time, we had Michael Ballack and later Schweini [Bastian Schweinsteiger] – they weren’t too bad, either.”