PROFILE: ‘That’s Usain Bolt level’ - City’s road runner ready to excel at Carrow Road
- Credit: Slask Wroclaw
As Przemyslaw Placheta becomes the Canaries’ first ever Polish player, Connor Southwell spoke to Norwich-based Polish FA scout Przemek Soczynski to discuss the 22-year-old’s career to date.
Przemyslaw Placheta’s move to Norwich City has seen him travel upon an unconventional path of development - with the 22-year-old winger ready to grasp his opportunity in England.
The Poland Under-21 international comes from a sporting family - his brother, Marcin, won a gold medal in the 4x100m European under-23 Championships in 2001.
His brother went on to participate in the Winter Olympics in 2006 in bobsleigh, a sport that Placheta said ‘never turned me on’.
Football is also a common denominator in his family unit, his other brother, Sylwester, is currently on the books at Polish sixth division side KS Teresin.
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But his development has been anything other than conventional or smooth.
Like many young footballers, Placheta tried his luck in Germany - hoping that it would create his first major break in professional football, only for family tragedy to end his spell abroad.
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“His development wasn’t very smooth and easy,” Soczynski explained. “When he was 17 he had moved to RB Leipzig. People say he didn’t make it in Germany, but it isn’t true. He decided to move back to Poland, because his mum was very ill and he wanted to live close to her.
“After a very good season in Pogon Siedlce a lot of clubs wanted to sign him. He ended up in Podbeskidzie in 1 Liga where he really became a top prospect.
“His mum sadly passed away when he was at Podbeskidzie.”
Placheta didn’t let personal devastation impact his aspirations of becoming an established footballer in his native country - and interest was quick to follow after catching the eye with his performances in the lower divisions in Poland.
At Podbeskidzie, Placheta was described by coach Krzysztof Brede as being sensitive and modest - a characteristic that could serve him well in City’s inclusive dressing room environment.
City will be hoping the winger can inject some raw pace into their attacking phases of play. His brother may have received a gold medal in the European Championships, but Placheta’s records seem closer aligned to that of a certain world record sprinter.
“They can expect pace of the Road Runner! He is the fastest player in Ekstraklasa. It’s been reported he’s done 30 metres in 3.8 seconds. It is on Usain Bolt’s level,” Soczynski explains.
“You can expect from him unconventional dribbles and passes, but he needs to play in tactics which is allowing him to use his speed. To run into empty spaces. He probably will struggle in more crowded areas of the pitch. Where technique and first touch are very important.
“I think his got bags of potential. He will definitely add a lot of speed in the final third where Norwich were struggling this year. Daniel Farke had many players who could dribble or pass, but they were easy to stop by defenders. They will struggle to catch Placheta.”
Five of the winger’s eight goals this season have arrived since the restart, but if Placheta’s development is to continue, then the winger needed to leave his native country - according to Soczynski.
“He had played for national youth teams. Scored a goal in U21s Euro qualifications and got called up to the tournament in Italy,” he continued.
“I think he needed this move to make the next step in his career. He has to improve as a player, because speed is not enough to make it in Championship. He has developed a lot in the last 12 months.
“I have seen him regularly in Ekstraklasa. He was too good for this league. I see him on both wings, but in my opinion he would be a great left wing-back.
“Of course you never know how it’s going to be, but he will definitely do as much as he can to be a first team player.”
Placheta identified Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling as a player he admires and City will be hoping the injection of pace provided by the Pole will bring them success in the Championship.
The Polish under-21 flyer turned down Legia Warsaw to sign for Slask Wroclaw last summer, and has flourished in his first and only season with the club.
When discussing the winger’s character, Soczynski said: “You can expect no problems at all on personal level. He will always do his best.
“He used to be shy and quiet. He was scared to express himself. To say his opinions loudly, but it has changed. He is much more confident on the pitch and in personal life.
“He’s never drunk vodka. He doesn’t like taste of beer. He is a humble, hard working person.”