Krzysztof Piatek. A name you’re unfamiliar with? We don’t blame you.
At the start of the season, nobody had really heard of the Polish forward that arrived at Serie A side Genoa in June. However, Piatek’s incredible goalscoring record means that his name is one you may be seeing pop up a lot more often in the months and years to come.
On Sunday, the striker became the first player to score in each of the first seven matches of a Serie A season since Gabriel Batistuta in 1994/95.
The Polish international forward is currently the top scoring player in Europe with an impressive 13 goals in eight appearances so far this season, including four in one match in Genoa’s Coppa Italia tie with Lecce in August. Not bad, right?
All of this means that Piatek is currently one of the most talked about players in European football. How long will Genoa be able to keep hold of him?
Read on for the lowdown on Europe’s most in-form striker.
Who is Krzysztof Piatek?
Piatek, 23, was snapped up by Genoa from Cracovia for a fee in the region of £3.5 million in June, after managing 32 goals in 65 appearances for the Polish side.
He had not made a senior appearance for Poland until last month, with manager Jerzy Brzeczek rewarding him for his good form by handing him his debut in a 1-1 draw with the Republic of Ireland.
The forward was named in his country’s 35-man preliminary squad for this year’s World Cup but failed to make the final cut.
But Piatek’s form for Genoa has generated huge excitement in his homeland and many are already wondering if and when a big move may come.
His current minutes-per-goal ratio stands at 70, and he has scored at least three more goals than any other player in Serie A so far; Lorenzo Insigne comes closest to Piatek’s nine goals with six for Napoli.
What is Krzysztof Piatek’s playing style?
The Genoa forward’s efficiency in front of goal has been quite remarkable this season. Piatek has not required more than three touches for any of the nine league goals he’s scored so far.
He came very, very close to making that ten Serie A goals against Parma, as you’ll see below.
Look at how unlucky Krzysztof Piątek was to score his second goal today. Have you ever seen a ball be that close for it to not be a goal? pic.twitter.com/Hj0prZdc8B
— Scouting Polska (@ScoutingPolska) October 7, 2018
Piatek has already name-checked Pippo Inzaghi as a player that inspired him from a young age and, without going over the top, there are similarities between the two in the way they create space and cleverly move off defenders at the right times.
Genoa’s manager Davide Ballardini believes there is much more than just goals to Piatek’s game, though.
“I am struck above all by his generosity towards his team-mates. He holds the ball up, he looks for the pass in behind, he runs, he battles and he’s the first to track back,” Ballardini said of the Polish striker.
In another interview, Ballardini begrudgingly admitted he felt Piatek could become “the complete package” but did not want to invite too much pressure on his star man.
Some have also likened Piatek to Harry Kane, as a striker who doesn’t always look particularly dangerous but is a prolific finisher and someone who always gets into the right spaces.
His fellow countryman Robert Lewandowski should be the perfect striker to learn from as the 23-year old looks to brush up on the different parts of his game.
Which clubs want to sign Krzysztof Piatek?
Of course, a whole lot of fresh speculation comes when a player makes a start to a season like this one.
Piatek has already commented on a potential move to Barcelona and there have also been reports in Germany that Bayern are closely monitoring the striker as a potential successor to Lewandowski.
The striker himself admitted that he was aware of reported interest from the reigning La Liga champions, despite not believing it: “I have heard that Barcelona want to sign me, but I do not believe it.”
However, Genoa president Enrico Preziosi has already quashed the idea of a potential January sale.
“Is he leaving in January? That would be crazy to think about. He is repaying the investment but we also know that there is a certain type of agents out there,” Preziosi said.
Those rumours will not go away while Piatek continues to score goals, though. He is certainly one to watch this season and it’s worth keeping a close eye on him during Poland’s upcoming UEFA Nations League matches against Portugal and Italy.
Krzysztof Piatek. Remember that name.