Strikers Judged On Goals
All strikers are judged in one currency, and that is goals. Putting the ball in the back of the net is their main objective, and the reason why many strikers move to new clubs for astronomical fees compared to defenders and goalkeepers. Haaland and Lewandowski have both proven throughout their careers in the Bundesliga that they can deal with pressure of being the main marksman.
The Norwegian striker scored a frankly ridiculous 13 goals in 15 games in the second half of the 2019-20 season after joining from Red Bull Salzburg, while he concluded the campaign having scored 16 times in all competitions. Those numbers have improved with every passing year, as you would expect from a player entering the prime years of his career. Last season, he scored 27 goals in 28 league fixtures, and 41 in 41 in all competitions. This season, he is above an average of a goal a game in the league, having scored eleven in nine, while he has scored 17 in 13 in all competitions.
However, when it comes to the better goalscorer of the two, it would be hard to look past Lewandowski. In the last two full Bundesliga seasons, the Pole has scored 59 goals in just 50 games. He broke Gerd Muller’s 40-year scoring record in the Bundesliga last term, after scoring 41 in just 21 games. The numbers that Lewandowski is recording per season are ridiculous, as he has scored at least 40 goals in all competitions in each of the last six seasons. This season he already looks on course to eclipse that tally again, having already scored 29 goals in 24 games in all competitions.
Who Offers More Creativity?
While Lewandowski certainly holds the advantage in terms of the number of goals that he has scored during his stay in the Bundesliga, it’s the Norwegian that comes out on top when it comes to creating chances for his teammates. Haaland has already registered four assists in the 2021-22 season, and finished with six assists last season. Lewandowski’s main responsibility in the Bayern team is putting the ball in the back of the net, which means it isn’t that concerning to see him record fewer assists than the Dortmund striker.
The Pole has recorded three assists so far this season in all competitions, but the Norwegian has already surpassed that with four in the Bundesliga. However, despite the superior advantage that Haaland has in assists, he averages a lower number of key passes per game.
The Dortmund striker averages 1.2, while the Bavarian number nine has averaged 1.4. Lewandowski is also slightly more composed in the final third when he has the ball, as he has only had 2.3 unsuccessful touches per game, compared to the average of 2.7 recorded by Haaland.
Do Strikers Help Out Defensively?
One of the main factors that critics throw at Lewandowski is the fact that he doesn’t help out his side defensively. It would be difficult to oppose that view based on the stats that we have seen so far this season. The 33-year-old averaged just 0.3 tackles per game, and 0.1 interceptions.
As well as that, the Pole also averages just 0.2 clearances. However, it’s also important to understand that due to the quality that he has behind him at Bayern, there is more than enough talent to ensure that the Polish striker isn’t needed in the defensive third. Instead, Bayern rely on his clinical nature in front of goal to get the best out of him.
Dortmund often press more consistently over the pitch, which means it isn’t surprising that Haaland averages slightly more in the defensive third. The Norwegian has averaged one clearance per game in the Bundesliga so far this season, and also 0.1 blocks per game.
Could Injuries Take Their Toll?
Injuries are part and parcel of football at the highest level, which means that they will become a factor when players get older. Lewandowski has been able to remain in fantastic shape throughout his career, which means it is very rare that he has been missing for an extended period of time. Unfortunately for Bayern, he did suffer a slight injury at a pivotal stage of the season last term though, as he missed both legs of their Champions League defeat against PSG. Still, the Pole has played at least 29 times in each of his ten full seasons in the Bundesliga.
Injuries are likely to be a bigger factor in the progression of Haaland and his career, as he often plays at a greater intensity. We have already begun to see the Norwegian face a number of concerns throughout his stay with Dortmund. Before the start of this season, he has missed 12 games between May 2020 and May 2021, with knee problems keeping him out of three games and a torn muscle fibre keeping him out for seven matches.
This season, injuries have been a common problem once again. Haaland missed three games at the beginning of the season due to muscular problems, before a hip flexor issue identified in October was expected to keep him out until the New Year. However, due to his tender age, he was able to recover quicker, and missed just seven games for Dortmund.
Who Is The Best Striker In The Bundesliga?
There are pros and cons for both Lewandowski and Haaland when it comes to the best striker in the Bundesliga. However, from our point of view, if you need a goal in the final five minutes of a match and could only bring one-off from the bench, then it would be Lewandowski.
His game is all about scoring goals, and he has specialised in it throughout his career, scoring no shortage of huge goals for Bayern Munich. However, if you’re looking for value in a talent for the future, then clubs will be more invested in Haaland, as Lewandowski’s prime years are likely behind him, while the Norwegian will be improving with every passing season and is likely to be challenging players such as Mohamed Salah for the Ballon d’or in years to come.