Encouraging signs but work still to do for rapid Placheta
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
When Przemek Placheta arrived at Norwich City, supporters were keen to see his pace in action.
Beyond that lighting speed, many were unsure of how a player that performed in the Polish top-flight would perform in the Championship.
Against Bristol City, Placheta proved there was much more to his game than just pace, but he still has work to do to discover a consistency that will help City unlock his quality on a regular basis.
As opposed to the lung-busting long distance bursts we’ve witnessed from the Polish winger to date, this was a more efficient use of his speed.
Highlighted for the opening goal, Placheta breaks from the left-hand side to the right, exploiting the high Bristol City defensive line and displacing their shape in the process, thus creating space for Teemu Pukki.
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He then held the ball up before offloading to Lukas Rupp and pushing forward, creating all the space the Finn needed to convert after a defence-splitting pass from Marco Stiepermann.
When City did have the lead, the Pole had more space to exploit, and his short sharp bursts of pace allowed the Canaries to get in behind the hosts.
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For all the talk of his pace, there was a moment of real technical quality from Placheta. On the 40th minute, his direct run ended with a lovely pass through to Emi Buendia, whose shot was saved by the face of Daniel Bentley.
There are moments where Placheta needs to lift his head when in possession and in the second period, his decision-making was misjudged at times.
But he did stretch the game, and when City were looking to absorb pressure, he did offer an additional dimension that granted Pukki a licence to impose himself on the game to a greater extent.
It’s clear he needs more time, but with further adaptation and coaching, the Polish winger could be a force to be reckoned with in the months to come.
Against Preston, his mental resilience and bouncebackability was evident, Saturday was moments of real quality combined with evidence that he is gaining familiarity for the pace, intensity and physicality of the league.
The second period saw him cut a more frustrating figure as his direct entries into the final third resulted in numerous wayward shots when there were better options in the area.
His willingness to stretch the game offers an alternative dimension to what is provided by Todd Cantwell on the left.
When working in conjunction with a more pragmatic left-back, Placheta has more space to roam into, whereas when operating in front of Xavi Quintilla, he can take up the space the Spaniard wants to drift into.
His low crosses are threatening, his ability to eat up space with or without the ball reason to be hopeful. There’s enough raw potential there to suggest he could become a pivotal player for City this season, in the right environment.
Rating: 7 out of 10