Could Krzysztof Piątek be Real Madrid’s Saviour?
Just 28 goals in 19 La Liga games, there is without doubt an absence of goals in the Santiago Bernabeu. In need of an emergency No.9 due to the injuries to Gareth Bale and Mariano, it is clear what the gaffer, Santiago Solari, must do in this window to salvage something from this awful campaign: Buy a world-class forward to replace Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Polish international has scored 13 goals in 19 appearances in Serie A, 2nd only to CR7 himself. Having only moved to the I Rossoblu’s last summer for a reported €4.5 million, Genoa are set to make a healthy profit of at least €45 million, as bidding is rumoured to be starting at €60 million.
With Inter likely to demand world-record numbers in terms of an initial fee for Mauro Icardi, Piątek could offer a money-savvy option. My gosh, that just shows the implications of Neymar’s transfer to PSG on the fees for players these days – €60-80 million is now becoming the norm to bring in higher level talent
Style of Play
Likened to his idol Pippo Inzaghi, Piątek’s playing style can best be defined as someone who doesn’t strike you as a danger but will make you pay if given a chance. Extremely clinical, you do not want to give Krzysztof any space within 20 yards of the goal.
Piątek clearly has a high footballing IQ, as he is able to manipulate space just like Pippo. For all you Football Manager heads out there, his manager recently commented on how complete his game could become; we all know how valuable a Complete Forward is to any system (I do offer Football Manager tutoring, just hit me up on Twitter @_indygill)
According to Sqauwka, Piątek has only had 7 clear cut chances all season, but has scored 13 goals. A quite incredible stat once you think about it. This means even when not statistically favoured to finish the chance, Piątek can still find a way to get onto the scoresheet.
In a faltering Madrid team, this trait could be invaluable, as chances could become few and far to come by, especially in those CL away legs in the knockout stages that are on the horizon. It allows Solari the flexibility to sit deep to compensate for the weaknesses of his team, and rely on Krzysztof to bury whatever chances he gets. He really is one of those strikers your dad would adore.
There is deserved hype around the Genoa #9, but one has to wonder, is he just a one-season wonder? As analysis progresses and teams learn how to stop your best players even quicker, it is key that Piątek has the flexibility to adapt his game.
He has shown glimpses that he can do it all – pass, score, hold-up play, press the opposition effectively – he is almost Lewandowski-esque in the way he plays the role of No.9. With the figures being touted, the Madrid faithful will certainly expect a lot of the 23-year old Pole. If Los Blancos acquire him, only time will tell if he can handle the pressure.
In my opinion, a striker with his skill set is hard to find, with only his Polish compatriot at Bayern and Harry Kane possessing what Piątek offers. A younger and cheaper version of both, it could be the deal that Madrid reflect upon in years to come, for the right reasons, even if it does not fit in with the typical Galactico framework they use for most of their signings.
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