Allardyce: Lewandowski 'got away'

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce rues the day he was denied the chance to sign Borussia Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski.

Last Updated: 26/04/13 at 08:12 Post Comment

Robert Lewandowski: Came close to joining Blackburn

Robert Lewandowski: Came close to joining Blackburn

Lewandowski underlined his status as one of the hottest properties in world football on Wednesday night when he scored all four goals in Dortmund's Champions League semi-final thrashing of Real Madrid.

Had it not been for an Icelandic ash cloud, or the financial constraints of the board at Ewood Park - Allardyce cannot remember which - the Pole could today have been fighting relegation to League One with Blackburn instead.

Rovers were one of a number of clubs, including Tottenham and West Brom, who were offered Lewandowski by his then parent club Lech Poznan for just three million euros (£2.5m) in 2010.

"It's true," the West Ham boss said. "He was put forward to sign very strongly by our recruitment staff and unfortunately it was one that got knocked back.

"My distant memory isn't that great but I think (former Rovers chairman) John (Williams) and the board said we are not going to commit that amount of money.

"I think they wanted three or four million euros but we were particularly strapped financially at the time at Blackburn.

"I watched him play. But I didn't get the chance to meet him.

"I think his agent said he couldn't come over because of the ash cloud, yes.

"He's probably worth 40 million euros after last (Wednesday) night."

It goes without saying that if Blackburn did have the man who ran rings around the Real defence in their team, they would not be at the wrong end of the npower Championship now.

And for Allardyce, who spent just under three years in charge of Blackburn, knowing that he missed out on coaching the talented 24-year-old is particularly galling.

"I think about it every time I see him play. Last night I was thinking it again," the 58-year-old said.

"He would have had a period of getting used to the level and the physical presence, but with a talent like that it wouldn't have been too long before he started to shine and score goals.

"The level he is playing at now is unbelievable, not just his scoring ability but his ability to retain possession.

"There were a lot of people looking at him at that time as well but we had the edge over every one else because of the attraction of the Premier League. He could have used us as a stepping stone but it didn't happen."

Manchester United have been linked with a big-money move for the striker, who has one year left to run on his contract, but Allardyce thinks the allure of English game is not as strong as it once was.

"I think we (English football) have had a bit of a knock-back this year," said Allardyce, referring to the lack of an English team in the last four of the Champions League.

"I am not sure if that will do anything to us just yet in terms of our status in the Champions League.

"I think that all those big (English) clubs will realise that they have to go out and invest even more again and hopefully we can grow back to where we were."

West Ham's opponents on Saturday - Manchester City - are tipped to be the biggest spenders in the market this summer despite the introduction of new financial fair play rules which mean clubs have to balance their books.

When asked whether the new rules will hurt last year's champions, Allardyce said: "It depends on the turnover and where they see how big the turnover is.

"How much did they get Etihad Stadium sponsored for? That has increased their revenues. They will probably find that their shirt sponsorship deal will be increased and is larger than before and that increases the turnover."


Click here for completely free £10 bet with Sky Bet


Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

L

ove it when Jose accuses others of being defensive, cynical and playing to win. If I was Wenger, I'd get that quote laminated and framed - surely the biggest compliment he's ever received from Mourinho. You've got him riled Arsene - you're relevant again!

suarez_blind
Mourinho blames pitch, weather for defeat

I

t's wrong to be making a joke out of Bender's name at the expense of gay people. It's the kind of childish, uncivilised thing that Football365 would deride and ridicule if it was another media outlet saying. Why is there a need for jokes like this? Does it make your writers feel like men? F365 might suggest that I 'lighten up', but it is genuinely traumatic for people who have been oppressed all their lives to be the butt of jokes, and to be told...

anamsport
The Beeriod Gossip

Y

ou can't blame De Gea for wanting to leave, he has enough to do in front of goal as it is as well as taking on the role of Man Utd's version of Derek Acorah in trying to contact and organise a defence that isn't there.

rodger's gusset
Van Gaal downbeat on De Gea

Footer 365

Everton duo John Stones and Kevin Mirallas picked up knocks on Sunday

Roberto Martinez has reminded Chelsea that Everton are a "big club with nine league titles" - and do not need to sell John Stones.

Arsenal 1 Chelsea 0: Gunners win Community Shield

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scored as Arsenal won the Community Shield with a 1-0 victory over Chelsea, with Arsene Wenger finally beating Jose Mourinho.

Coloccini wants to stay at Newcastle, says McClaren

Steve McClaren says Fabricio Coloccini wants to stay at Newcastle for the rest of his career, despite speculation over the captain's future.

Mail Box

Not Just A Friendly. This Had Meaning...

Arsenal fans are very excited about beating Chelsea (don't remind them about last year), while there is criticism for BT and a football fan tired of being screwed by TV...

Neville Has It Wrong On Chelsea...

One Mailboxer says that the Neviller has it slightly wrong on Chelsea. Plus thoughts on sexy Saints, pre-season reviews, Connor Wickham and televised analysis...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company