It remains “incredible” to think that Bayern Munich were able to snap up Robert Lewandowski as a free agent, says Roy Makaay, with the Pole now “one of the world’s best strikers”.
Back in the summer of 2014, a prolific presence was lured onto the books at the Allianz Arena.
For four years prior to that, Lewandowski had been a talismanic figure for Bayern’s Bundesliga rivals Borussia Dortmund.
With 103 goals in 183 appearances for BVB, a reputation was established as one of the most fearsome frontmen in Europe.
Bayern moved quickly to ensure that they would be the ones to benefit from those qualities heading forward, with pre-contract terms agreed as a deal ran down in Dortmund.
Lewandowski was then acquired for nothing and has gone on to find the target 231 times for the reigning German champions through 276 outings.
He is showing no sign of slowing down at 31, with Makaay among those to have sung the praises of one of the very best in the business.
The former Bayern striker told Kicker of Lewandowski: “He is one of the world's best strikers, very complete.
“Every season he scores more than 20 goals, and is important for his team-mates through his work and his vision.
“It was an incredibly good signing in 2014. A free transfer! You have to remember this.”
Bayern have no intention of having to replace Lewandowski any time soon, but a teenage talent has emerged who could follow in illustrious footsteps.
Joshua Zirkzee has bags of potential at just 18 years of age, with three goals recorded through his eight senior appearances to date.
Makaay believes he could become the next striking sensation for Bayern, with the ex-Netherlands international adding on a fellow Dutchman who linked up with Bayern in 2017: “During his year at Feyenoord (in 2016-17) I had him with me in striker training from time to time.
“At that time he was 16. He is undoubtedly a very talented player, but also very young. I saw his goals, excellent, beautiful. Now he has to play a lot to get better.”
Bayern have high hopes for Zirkzee, with the German giants having worked hard to acquire his talent when another European heavyweight was circling.