Only 12 months ago, Krzysztof Piątek was among the very in-demand players in Europe.
His goalscoring exploits for Genoa supposed the Serie A side were reportedly fielding calls from Milan, Chelsea, and Real Madrid only six months after signing the Poland global for $4million.
Now, Milan are reportedly ready to market the 24-year-old for a reduction.
But after netting just 13 times in 36 Serie A appearances, those in charge of recruiting at San Siro are taking a look at ways to recoup as much as possible for the prior Cracovia forward.
Luckily for them, there’s interest in Piątek. English and Italian outlets suggest a bargain in the area of #25million will be enough to land the ten-cap Poland international.
Last year, such a fee would have been a deal for Piątek. In the space of a year, he moved from being seen by many as one of the greatest strikers in Italy — possibly even in Europe — to somebody seen as a bet for the purchase price of a Premier League squad player.
The question is if this is only a bad spot or his true level. Was Piątek’s hot series before his move to Milan nothing more than a purple patch?
For the first half of this 2018/19 campaign, Piątek averaged 0.73 goals per 90. He had been running hot, really hot, with his anticipated goals average coming in at 0.42. His post-shot expected goals ordinary, a stat that looks at where the shot was taken from and where it lands on target, revealed him to be fairly consistent with his or her finishing. Such reliability contributes to overperformance — precisely what happened.
At Genoa, the group was geared towards creating opportunities for their summer signing, which explains why he had been averaging over four shots per 90.
When comparing the very same stats to the beginning of this year, it becomes clear why he has just scored four goals. At this point of the campaign a year ago, Piątek had 13 to his title.
At first glance, it might appear like Milan have nullified their main threat. But Piątek’s anticipated goals per 90 average is not that far off what it had been for Genoa. The largest difference is in his post-shot anticipated goals amounts.
This year, the Pole is underperforming. Rather than adding value to his efforts, he is making his chances worse because of his finishing and his positioning. This is explained in his post-shot anticipated goals difference of 0.21.
He is also taking fewer shots this term. Now, a fall to 3.63 from 4.35 might not look like so dramatic but, over the course of a year, that’s a gap of almost 30 attempts on goal.
What we learn from taking a look at his Milan numbers is they don’t play to his strengths. His confidence is taken and that’s the reason his stock has dropped dramatically. If an assault is constructed around him, Piątek could soon rediscover his Genoa form.
He may be regarded as a bet but goals are king in soccer and having a trusted threat in your team may be the difference-maker. Piątek’s goals could fire Villa to security, Spurs to the Champions League or Palace and Newcastle to mid-table safety.