He took Italy by storm after a scintillating start to his career at Genoa. So much so, he was on his way to the San Siro after just 6 months. But after a less than stellar start to his AC Milan career, Krzysztof Piatek looks like he’s once again on the move.
According to Sky Sports, both Hertha Berlin and Tottenham are interested in a deal for the 24 year old. The former in particular are edging closer to an agreement with Milan for a deal to take Piatek to the Bundesliga. Spurs, having announced Steven Bergwijn today, are now behind in the race for the striker. So despite struggling to carry on his form from last season, why are clubs still interested in Piatek?
Goals. He scores goals. Piatek took Serie A by storm, scoring 22 goals in all competitions in 2018/19, the 3rd highest tally in the league. Having only moved to AC Milan last year, for a reported €35 million, he hit the ground running for the remainder of last season with 9 in 18. But after just 4 goals in 18 league games in 2019/20, he finds himself on the way out.
Krzysztof Piatek – Style of Play
Likened to his idol Pippo Inzaghi, Piatek’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. Clinical, you do not want to give Krzysztof any space within 20 yards of the goal. Of course at 6ft tall too, he has a physical presence and won’t be easily bullied by defenders. His frame also allows him to be an aerial threat from set pieces, or just simple crosses into the box.
Piatek 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 Squawka, Piatek only had 7 clear cut chances in all of last season for Genoa, but scored 13 goals. A quite incredible stat once you think about it. This means even when not statistically favoured to finish the chance, Piatek can still find a way to get onto the score-sheet.
The issue with the former Cracovia striker is the system he works in. He thrived in a striking partnership at Genoa with Christian Kouamé, who was the pacier of the two. But as a lone striker at AC Milan, after the initial burst, he’s struggled. Perhaps this suggests he needs a system that works around him, if a lone striker. Otherwise in a partnership, we’ve seen the results. Deadly, subject to the system.
There was deserved hype around the former Genoa number nine, but one has to think, was he just a one season wonder? As analysis progresses and teams learn how to stop your best players even quicker, it is key that Piatek has the flexibility to adapt his game. But as it stands, he’s a one season wonder. The Polish international will hope to change that in Germany.
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 Spurs faithful will certainly expect a lot of the 24-year old Pole. 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 Krzysztof Piatek offers. A younger and cheaper version of both, it could be a great deal for Hertha at a cut price €27 million and provide a platform for the forward to once again show the world why he was so highly rated last year.
For more transfer rumours, articles and player profiles, follow us on Twitter @TasteofFtbl.