Lewandowski is the past, but who is the future for Dortmund?

This week brought the news that Borussia Dortmund fans had been expecting, but ultimately dreading, for the last few months. Robert Lewandowski agreed to a 5-year deal with Bayern Munich, but will spend the rest of the season with Borussia Dortmund before making a summer move to Munich.

Luckily for Borussia Dortmund (if you can say it’s lucky), it has been known that Lewandowski wanted to leave Dortmund on a free transfer after the end of his contract, for almost a year now. So Dortmund have been able to draw up possible replacements over this time, and losing a player like Lewandowski leaves a lot to live up too. So with plenty of possibilities, here are some potential replacements for the Polish striker:

Diego CostaThis Spanish centre forward has become one of the most sought-after players in his position in the world over the last year. Costa has 23 goals in 23 competitive appearances this season for Atlético Madrid and has attracted a lot of transfer speculation from around Europe. He is one of the most difficult strikers to mark for a defender. Combative, clever, a good eye for goal and one of the most physical players in the world, Costa has been a nightmare for defenders in La Liga and in Europe this season. Most importantly, he fits Dortmund’s current system perfectly, which would mean that Klopp and the players would have very little stress in introducing him into the squad and the style of play. Value – €25-30m

Adrián Ramos Hertha Berlin’s standout player this season has been held in high regard throughout Germany for his performances so far. 11 goals in the Bundesliga see him as the joint top-scorer, alongside who else, but Robert Lewandowski. Another player who would fit the current system, Ramos is an out-an-out centre forward with as strong an ability to score with his head, as with his feet, which he has proved this season. He is also highly athletic and great on the counter attack, similar to Lewandowski. Ramos has spoken of his ultimate goal of playing at the World Cup for his native Colombia. He is currently overshadowed up top by Falcao and Jackson Martinez, but a move to Dortmund would certainly help increase his profile going forward. Value – €8-15m

Edin Džeko Probably the most talked about replacement for Lewandowski. The Manchester City man has been in and out of one of the most competitive squads in world football at Man City but has always scored goals when he has played. Of course, he is most remembered in Germany for what was probably his best season so far in 2008-09. He finished with a total of 26 league goals and 10 assists in 32 league games, and his partnership with fellow striker Grafite will be remembered as one of the most successful strike partnerships in Bundesliga history. He, like Ramos and Costa, would suit the current Dortmund system perfectly and a return to a league in which he became the world-class striker he is today certainly seems feasible. Value – €15-20m

Kevin Volland One of the most exciting young players in German football right now. At just 21, Volland has been heavily linked with a move to a bigger Bundesliga team than Hoffenheim for over a year now. For a player so young, Volland has been able to adapt his game so that he can play comfortably in a number of positions. He is known to play confidently as a left or right winger, as well as a centre forward. This depth of ability gives Volland an advantage as he has the attributes to develop into a very dangerous attacking footballer, in any or all of the available positions. Volland is as much a provider of goals as he is a scorer of them, 6 assists and 12 goals so far in all competitions this season’s put him in high regard across the top European leagues. Value – €10-15m

Michy Batshuayi Mostly unknown amongst Bundesliga fans, Batshuayi is a Belgian U-21 international who has become one of the Jupier League’s most prolific strikers since his debut in 2011. With 14 goals in 21 games so far this season, Batshuayi is the top goal-scorer in Belgium at the ripe old age of 20. He is very much the type of player Dortmund would be looking to replace Lewandowski with. Two-footed with the work-rate of a centre midfielder, Batshuayi is often seen playing with his socks around his ankles because of how much he runs, which the Dortmund faithful will be happy to hear. Aswell as being confident with both feet, he is very skilful when he needs to be and is also strong in the air. Value – €8-12

It’s a big decision for Borussia Dortmund because Lewandowski turned out to be one of the club’s greatest ever strikers, but Klopp and Watzke have proven before that they can work their magic when facing the departure of one of their key players. If I had to choose, I would take Volland and if money was available, I would take Batshuayi as they’re both young, exciting footballers who have shown their ability to develop their style and would both thrive in the work horse squad at Borussia Dortmund.  And like Lewandowski, they would both join the club at the same age with plenty of room for improvement. Who would you sign?

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Alex Chaffer

Alex is an 18-year old football writer and general sporting enthusiast living near London. He has grown a great love for German football since his first look at the league almost 5 years ago. Follow Alex @AlexChaffer

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