It could be trouble in paradise come this summer for Bayern Munich. The record 31-time Bundesliga winners could have a potentially damning situation with their main star, Robert Lewandowski. He has a contract until 2023, but as Eurosport reports, the Polish striker wants to leave Bavaria as soon as this summer. If he does leave, Bayern Munich could lose their status as perennial Champions League favorites and might even lose the German title they won nine times in a row. Here are three key reasons why Bayern Munich must keep Robert Lewandowski by any means necessary.

Reasons for Bayern Munich keeping Lewandowski 

There is no immediate replacement 

Right now, there are only two strikers on the level of Lewandowski in the entire world. One is Karim Benzema and the other is Kylian Mbappe. With all due respect to Erling Haaland, of course, he is still not on that level, but he will definitely be up there as soon as he is playing for a better team. Now, with this possible Lewandowski drama, Bayern Munich needs to find a solution to alleviate the impact of him potentially leaving next summer. They can really only do that by replacing him and unless they pull out a miracle, any replacement will be a multiple-level drop-off from the Polish veteran.

Bayern has no chance of getting Mbappe or Benzema, that is for sure. Mbappe is all but signed by Real Madrid and the same club put in a €1 billion clause in the last Benzema extension, signifying their intention to keep the Frenchman in the Spanish capital. One could say that Bayern Munich can go for Haaland, but we are talking about a club whose record transfer fee, according to Transfermarkt, is €80 million for Lucas Hernandez in 2020. On the flip side, the Haaland transfer will cost a lot more and there are only a select few clubs that can pull that off financially – most notably, Real Madrid and Manchester City, the reported frontrunners for the striker. With Dusan Vlahovic already transferring to Juventus in the January window, there is just not much elite striker talent out there, at least not close to the level or with the potential of reaching the level of Lewandowski.

They would be losing way too much 

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To fully understand the impact that Lewandowski has had on Bayern Munich, we need to understand a few things. Firstly, since arriving at Bayern Munich in 2014, Lewandowski scored a total of 337 goals. In that time, Bayern as a team scored 1064 goals, which means that almost a third of that came from Lewandowski. That is almost unbelievable, but that is exactly how prolific he is. Secondly, in that time, he finished all but the first season of his Bayern Munich career with more than 40 goals, reaching 55 at one point. When it comes to players with 40+ goals in seven and more seasons in a row, you are only talking about Cristiano Ronaldo, who managed eight in a row, and Lionel Messi, who managed nine.

That is what Bayern would be losing and while it is completely true that Robert Lewandowski is getting on in age, his goals were almost never caused by his pace or athleticism, things that fade with age. Lewandowski just had an eye for goal and he had it for Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, the Polish national team, and if he leaves the German capital, he will continue scoring the goals at any other team. Combined with the first reasoning mentioned above, the fact that a third of your goals for the past eight years could be leaving in the summer should be a cause for alarm in Munich.

He would be going to a rival

Let’s not kid ourselves – if Lewandowski is leaving, he is not going back to Poland or to a lesser team in Europe. Bayern Munich, in the case that this drama ends up costing them Robert Lewandowski’s services, would be directly helping a European rival to get better immediately. Now, once again, it is important to mention that Lewa is 33 and will be 34 before the next season starts, so he probably has one or two seasons of this level of football. Yet, he is still going to be a major boost for any team, should Bayern Munich let him go.

Of course, the first team that comes to mind is Manchester City. They are in the fight for Erling Haaland, but should the Norwegian choose Real Madrid, they would be eager to get the Polish striker to the Premier League. Also, an option could be a return to Borussia Dortmund, where Lewandowski exploded in the early 2010s. That is a possibility due to the inevitable leaving of Haaland, and it would hurt Bayern Munich even more due to BVB being a national, as well as a continental, rival. Of course, if they fail to get Haaland, Lewandowski could become an instant option for Real Madrid, who have been linked to the Polish striker in the past.

Regardless of where, if he does leave, Robert Lewandowski would leave a hole that Bayern Munich will have a ton of trouble filling up.