Krzysztof Piatek has rapidly developed into one of the most promising forwards in European football. He’s marked his transfer to Italian Serie A outfit Genoa with a staggering 13 goals in 8 appearances.
The 23-year-old made his debut in the Polish top flight in 2014 whilst playing for Zagłębie Lubin. He bagged 18 goals in 85 appearances in all competitions until moving to Cracovia for £630,000 ahead of the 2016/17 season. Piatek spent two seasons with The Stripes and solidified his growing reputation by finishing as the third-highest goal scorer in the 2017/18 Ekstraklasa season with a total of 21 goals.
His goalscoring antics in Poland grasped the attention of numerous clubs across Europe and Piatek fled his homeland to join Italian club Genoa at the beginning of the current season. Piatek’s quality was also recognized by Polish National Team manager Adam Nawalka, who selected him for the preliminary squad ahead of the 2018 World Cup. However, Piatek was one of twelve players to be excluded from the squad in the weeks building up to the tournament.
Many clubs had been tracking Piatek, but Genoa coughed up his valuated price of £4,000,000 to lure him to Italy. The clubs who failed to acquire him in the summer will be ruing their decision, as he’s taken the Italian Serie A by storm during his brief time at the club.
Making a Name for Himself in Italy
The Serie A club’s investment immediately started paying dividends. Piatek’s debut came against Lecce in the Italian Cup where Genoa won 4-0 and Piatek more than caught the eye by scoring all four goals. He continued garnering attention in Italy and beyond by doing what he’s demonstrated he does best, scoring goals.
In his first seven league games, he scored nine goals, including the only goal in a 1-0 win against Bologna, and a decisive brace in a 2-1 victory away from home against Frosinone. These nine league goals have propelled Piatek to the top of the goalscoring rankings not only in Italy, but in all of Europe.
He became the first player since the 1949-50 season to score eight goals in his first six games in the Italian Serie A, an amazing statistic considering the wealth of attacking talent in Serie A past and present. Beating the likes of Van Basten, Ronaldo Nazarío and Vieri to the record is no mean feat whatsoever.
His fantastic performances thus far earned him his first international cap in a friendly against the Republic of Ireland in September and some bold predictions have began circulating. Could he be the heir to Robert Lewandowski’s Polish throne? The Bayern Munich veteran is 30 now, and while he’s still consistently scoring, he’s bound to slow down. Piatek looks as good an option as any to fill the void Lewandowski will inevitably leave when this happens.
The Modern Forward
Piatek is more than just a classic fox-in-the-box. He can finish anything that comes his way regardless of whether it’s with his head or his feet, not unlike his aforementioned compatriot Lewandowski. He has a keen eye for space and always finds himself in the right place at the right time to receive a pass or tap in a rebound.
What makes him special is that clincal finishing ability is combined with great physical traits. He’s quick enough to get behind the defensive line while still being strong enough to hold off defenders to make room for a shot. As you can imagine, he’s a defender’s nightmare and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see his talents translate just as effectively to one of Europe’s top teams.
Despite it being early in the season, Piatek’s incredible form has seen him linked to some big names who are looking for a future star in attack. Everyone from Chelsea to Juventus to Real Madrid are reportedly keeping a watchful eye on the young Pole.
You can catch Piatek and Genoa’s next game on Saturday the 20th of October at 17:00 when they take on the undefeated behemoth Juventus. Don’t be surprised to see the high-flying Pole score again, despite Juventus being particularly strong in defence.
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