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Bayern Misses Lewandowski’s Influence As Need For Number 9 Increases

Bayern Munich boss Thomas Tuchel has been promised a new striker for next season after president Herbert Hainer accepted the team lacks a ruthless goalscorer.A 1-1 draw against Manchester City on Wednesday saw Bayern exit the Champions League 4-1 on aggregate at the quarter-final stage.They are in danger of being left behind as the likes of big-spending City make a concerted effort to push for European dominance.Although Bayern saw off another wealthy pretender to the Champions League crown in the previous round, by sinking the hopes of Paris Saint-Germain, there have been obvious shortcomings in the German giants’ ranks this season.This might be largely because they sold Robert Lewandowski to Barcelona last July and did not recruit a player of the same mould and calibre to replace the Polish striker.Lewandowski hit 50 goals for Bayern last season, and although the team have not been goal-shy, they have been without a top-class predator.Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting has shown willing, netting 17 in 29 games in the central role, but with the best will he has been a stop-gap option.

“We’re missing the goalscorer who can clean things up. That’s what we’ll definitely need in the future,” said Hainer, quoted widely on Thursday in the German media.Bayern’s shot conversion rate has dipped slightly season on season, from 15.34 per cent last term to 15.02 per cent this time around.Their ‘big chance’ conversion has tumbled from 43.54 per cent to 40.74 per cent, having been as high as 47.65 per cent in the 2020-21 campaign.Last season saw Lewandowski put away 25.13 per of his chances, and 53.16 per of his big chances.Hainer said it was “obvious” Bayern were not scoring often enough, but he indicated it would not be easy to find a player to make the difference.Bayern have been linked with Tottenham’s Harry Kane and Napoli striker Victor Osimhen, but getting either man would involve a major financial outlay, and potentially a wrestle with other clubs.

“If you could name the one that hits the spot immediately, we would buy him immediately,” Hainer said. “But you can assume that we will strengthen the team in such a way that we can again have a say in the Champions League title. Our goal is very clear to be at the forefront in Europe.”

He said Bayern were “very, very well positioned” to be able to afford such a top-class player, as recently appointed coach Tuchel looks to put together a winning side.Questions are being asked about the future of Bayern CEO Oliver Kahn, with reports in Germany claiming his position could be in some doubt.If Kahn stays, he would likely have a key say in whom Bayern target as their next number nine.The former Germany goalkeeper, quoted by Sport 1, said Bayern would have their work cut out to find a striker of Lewandowski’s redoubtable prowess.

“It is also a question of price,” Kahn said. “How many nines at the level of Robert Lewandowski are there in Europe? There aren’t many. And if so, then it is in price regions that are extremely high.”

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