It's one of the more bizarre transfer stories of the past decade or so, and even something Robert Lewandowski confirmed himself.
Back in 2010, Blackburn were approaching the end of their 2009/2010 Premier League campaign and would eventually finish 10th at the end of the season.
Goals were the big issue for The Riversiders, as midfielder David Dunn was the only player in double digits for them in all competitions.
It wasn't a bad Blackburn side. It featured the likes of veteran goalkeeper Paul Robinson, Norwegian playmaker Morten Gamst Pedersen, Chris Samba at the back and our own Keith Andrews in midfield.
Their attacking options were limited, however. The likes of Jason Roberts, Franco Di Santo and Nikola Kalinic only managed eight goals between them.
#OnThisDay in 2010...
David Dunn scored from the penalty spot to seal a 1-0 victory over Burnley at Turf Moor ⚽️⭐️@David8Dunn | #Rovers pic.twitter.com/J24uAs14JX
— Blackburn Rovers Live (@Rovers_Live) March 28, 2020
Blackburn's Head of Recruitment at the time, Martyn Glover, made it his top priority to find a striker who could produce goals. This is where a 22-year-old Robert Lewandowski came to the fold.
Lewandowski was enjoying a fruitful season in the Polish first division with Lech Poznań, bagging himself twenty-one goals that season for the Ekstraklasa side.
In an article with Sky Sports, Glover recalled his initial thoughts on signing the Polish international. "We'd seen a lot of Robert Lewandowski and we knew we were dealing with a top-class striker," he said.
Glover recalled he made the trip to Poland to see Lewandowski play in person with then manager Sam Allardyce. The pair met with the player after the game, and had proposed a move to the Premier League.
🎙Jurgen Klopp 🇩🇪 on Robert Lewandowski 🇵🇱: "If every player has a development similar to Lewandowski, when I first saw him at Lech Poznan, then the football world would be completely crazy. All players would be amazing." [BILD] #FCBayern #LFC pic.twitter.com/SjNkMTN02b
— RouteOneFootball (@Route1futbol) March 17, 2021
According to Glover, Blackburn Chairman John Williams was a bit sceptical about the deal. He wasn't sold on the £3 million asking price, which in hindsight now looks like a packet of peanuts.
Nonetheless, everything in life can be brought to a sudden stop by a natural disaster, and that's exactly what happened. Europe was overcome with a volcanic ash cloud from Iceland which limited air travel significantly for several days.
Lewandowski was scheduled to visit Ewood Park during the eruption, and his flight to England was grounded as a result. Around the same time, he was bartered by a friend who played for Borussia Dortmund, and the rest is history.
It seems all a bit too comical that this is how it played out. However, Lewandowski himself confirmed that the rumours were true in 2017 while speaking to the media.
Robert Lewandowski with all his trophies from 2020 alone.
What a flex 🏆
(via @FCBayern) pic.twitter.com/PkgJS0q3Cz
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 29, 2020
"I could not fly to Blackburn because of the volcano but I wanted to go there just to see what the club is like because I didn't know back then where I was going because if I travelled there, I would then know which is the best club for me," he said.
"Maybe if I went there and saw the club, the stadium and everything, it would have become my first choice".
There's no doubt Lewandowski could have helped Blackburn save their top flight status in their first few seasons, if not get them back into European contention.
The Pole went on to score 71 times for Borussia Dortmund in 131 games. Now, we know him for his heroics at Bayern Munich, as he attempts to break Gerd Mueller's longstanding 40 goal Bundesliga record this weekend.