Both these two players are two of the hottest properties in world football right now; they have both been linked with moves away from their clubs for some time now. Chelsea have been known admirers of Falcao but recently it is Lewandowski who seems the front runner to arrive in West London and for me that is a good thing.
As a Chelsea fan the last couple of transfer windows seem to have been an endless flirtation with Radamel Falcao and his one man destruction of us during the European Super Cup match was just rubbing salt in the wounds. His movement and lethal finishing were a joy to behold even as a fan of the side on the end of it, he displayed all the signs of the complete forward.
Bild, the German paper that reported the Mario Gotze deal, announced a couple of weeks ago that a deal was in place to bring both Jose Mourinho and Falcao to Stamford Bridge at the end of the season. However since then the English papers have started reporting that Mourinho is more interested in signing Robert Lewandowski than the Colombian and with both unlikely to be at the same club Mourinho’s preference gets my vote.
It’s not that I don’t think Falcao is a good player, far from it in fact, I just believe that if you take various factors into consideration then Lewandowski seems a far more sensible option. Let’s start with the primary job of a striker, putting the ball in the back of net. Falcao has scored 26 goals in 31 league appearances this season which gives him a better goals to game ratio than Lewandowski who has 23 in 29. That being said I would argue that Lewandowski is playing in a defensively stronger league with Falcao coming up against weaker defences. There is also the argument to be made that Lewandowski is not as focal to his team as Falcao is and Dortmund have other players they can rely on for goals. In the league Atlético’s next highest scorer is Diego Costa with seven whereas Borussia can boast three players aside from Lewandowski with over ten or more goals in the league; Marco Reus, Jakub Blaszczykowski and Mario Gotze.
Lewandowski has also contributed more assists than Falcao with seven overall in comparison to Falcao’s one. His link up play generally is stronger which is mainly because he has a far more diverse role in his team than Falcao. At Dortmund the three that usually play behind Lewandowski utilise the Pole as their target man and look to the forward to bring them into play. At Chelsea whilst an out and out goal scorer is something we’ve been crying out for, a forward that can lead the line like Lewandowski could be even better. Given that we usually play with a three behind a lone striker in a similar vein to Dortmund the transition could be effortless for Lewandowski.
Then there is the price, perhaps the real problem in the whole saga. Falcao’s infamous buyout clause still remains around the £50 million mark and it looks highly unlikely that Atlético would accept anything less. In comparison Lewandowski could be available for as little as half of that figure. This is because Dortmund cannot afford to lose Lewandowski for free next summer when his contract expires. With financial fair play on its way in the near future that £25 million is something that Chelsea cannot afford to lose especially if the club fail to reach the Champions League.
For me the pivotal difference comes in the two players’ ages, the gap between the two is three years. Lewandowski, the younger of the two, will play in a Champions League final this month which is something Falcao is yet to achieve. His Europa League triumph with Atlético is impressive but given the price of the two Lewandowski represents a much better investment in my eyes. His teamwork and link up play would fit better into our system and although both strikers play in teams that utilise one forward I think Lewandowski would offer more and therefore be a better signing.