Robin van Persie's goals have been crucial. Wayne Rooney's versatility has been key. Javier Hernandez's never-say-die attitude has been exemplary. Danny Welbeck's boundless amounts of energy and work rate have been an example to all. But still, Sir Alex Ferguson has been linked with a plethora of forwards as he begins to prepare his defence of his 13th Premier League crown at the start of next season.
But not one man of the aforementioned can be rewarded with the credit of winning the Premier League title for Manchester United, despite van Persie receiving many of the plaudits. In fact, the true story of how Sir Alex Ferguson master-minded a 20th league crown came after the infamous defeat to Manchester City at the end of last season.
Danny Welbeck told reporters that after last season, the first thing that Sir Alex Ferguson did once his side lost the title in infamous fashion to Manchester City was re-ignite the motivation into his youngsters for next season.
“We were travelling home from Sunderland on the coach and the manager went round all the young players and said to them, ‘Never forget this, because this will win you titles’,” Danny Welbeck recalled.
“He said: This will make some of you into men and be the best you can be’. When the manager says things like that to you, you really want to take note of it.”
In Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie, Sir Alex Ferguson has arguably the most dangerous strike duo in Europe. Javier Hernandez has that special kind of ability that makes him so dangerous, lethal in the box. Whilst despite being far from prolific this campaign – Ferguson see's an invaluable asset in Danny Welbeck.
But with Javier Hernandez reportedly on his way to Atletico Madrid and Wayne Rooney off to Paris, the tabloids suggest that Manchester United should make a move for Borussia Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski – who has confirmed that he will not be signing a new contract with the club.
So, who is Robert Lewandowski?
Lewandowski is in fact the player Sir Alex Ferguson was going to sign, prior to van Persie's arrival. The Red Devils are believed to have a longstanding interest in the Poland international, who was thought to have been on his way to Old Trafford for £18million last summer, with a contract of around £80,000 a week.
However, Sir Alex Ferguson soon signed Robin van Persie from Arsenal. His 24 league goals have fired Manchester United to another Premier League title which suggests that Manchester United do not need another front man.
But what the signing of Robert Lewandowski would mean to United is that Wayne Rooney would drop permanently into a central midfield position. Now, understandably – despite plenty of 'experts' and tabloids criticizing his recent displays – Wayne Rooney, a centre forward for the best part of 10 years, will not play every game perfectly in central midfield, as shown by his display against West Ham.
But playing Wayne Rooney in midfield will re-ignite United in the middle of the park. For years, fans have been crying out for a tentative, physical, battling midfielder. The Manchester United midfield has been lamented 'weak' in recent seasons – something Wayne Rooney could change.
Robert Lewandowski has 32 goals in all competitions this season for Borussia Dortmund, and the thought of him being partnered with Robin van Persie is indeed frightening.
However, the formation to which Borussia Dortmund tore apart the Bundesliga for the past two seasons and the Champions League this year is a 4-2-3-1, with Lewandowski leading the line as a lone forward. At Manchester United, he simply wouldn't be awarded that luxury.
How exactly would Manchester United incorporate Robert Lewandowski, Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney, Shinji Kagawa et al?
For the majority of the campaign, Manchester United have played a 4-4-2 formation and at a push, 4-4-1-1. Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie have occupied the two attacking positions, Valencia and Rafael have supported the attack with width down the right, whilst either Kagawa, Giggs, Welbeck or when fit, Young play on the left – all with a tendency to cut in and join the attack centrally. This system has worked domestically, clearly.
After shelling out £24million for van Persie, building the team around him and finding a system to work – would Sir Alex Ferguson really throw it all away to accommodate Lewandowski?
Manchester United without Robert Lewandowski -
Manchester United next season with Robert Lewandowski -
Despite boasting the physical traits to excel in the Premier League, we simply do not know if Lewandowski – adapting to a new system and league – would be worth the £25million + for United.
To sign Lewandowski this summer would be a luxury that only a team void of frailty can afford. Manchester United should focus on other areas and not sign Robert Lewandowski.