Introducing Bartosz Kapustka – The New Star of Polish Football
With football fans eagerly awaiting the start of the English Premier League season the transfer news is still on going with a number of teams putting the finishing touches to their squads for the 2016-17 season. Whilst the biggest news seems to be the will he won’t he saga involving Paul Pogba and Manchester United, a less high profile transfer is happening in the midlands with Leicester City set to confirm the transfer of young Polish star Bartosz Kapustka in what is one of the biggest transfer stories in Polish football history.
Kapustka, which translates to English as little cabbage, will be familiar to many fans in the UK thanks to his impressive performances at Euro 2016 where he was part of the Poland squad which was eliminated on penalties in the quarter finals to eventual winners Portugal. Despite being just 19 years old there is already talk of him having the potential to emulate the current poster boy of Poland, Robert Lewandowski.
And whilst the young winger still has a way to go before he topples the achievements of Lewandowski, many people who have followed his career closely ever since he made his first team debut for Cracovia against Widzew Lodz in the Polish football league in 2014 feel he’s going to go on and do great things in the Premiership.
So just how will Kapustka fit in at Leicester? He plays as a left sided midfielder, although he favours his right foot which means he’s more of an inverted winger likely to cut inside. Some pundits feel that Kapustka’s arrival could mean that the highly rated Riyad Mahrez is on his way out, however this is more paper talk, especially when you take into account that the two will likely be plying their trade on opposite flanks. His strengths include a wicked shot, and he also has pace in abundance as well as being very tactically aware for a young player.
The reported transfer fee of £7.5 million pounds (approximately 39 million Polish zloty) is indeed a record sum for a player playing in the Polish league. Despite the hefty fee, many people feel that Kapustka is a strong character and he won’t be affected by this at all. His club coach at Cracovia, Jacek Zielinski, said “Bartosz has no nervous system; he doesn’t know what the word ‘stress’ means. He approaches every game in the same way, no matter if it’s against Legia Warsaw, a smaller Polish football team or Northern Ireland at the Euros. He just goes out there, competes and leaves it all on the pitch.
Zielinski went on to say “I met Kapustka after I started my job at Cracovia [in April 2015] and I immediately noticed that I had an exceptional talent to work with. He stood out in training sessions. He had it all: technique, pace, stamina and a great tactical understanding of the game.”
So whether or not Kapustka goes on to make a big impact this season remains to be seen, however the general feeling is that the young prodigy is good enough to make an impact right away. On the other side of the coin despite losing their star man, the money which Cracovia will receive from Leicester can make a huge improvement to the club’s fortunes on the field if it is invested in the right way.
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