Fulhamâ€™s seventh-place finish in the Premier League last year was built on the Cottagers’ defensive strength, while at the other end of the pitch their strikers struggled to score goals following Andy Johnsonâ€™s injury.
In an effort to right some of the wrongs of last term, itâ€™s of little surprise that Roy Hodgson has been linked with a Â£2.5 million swoop for Wisla Karkowâ€™s 26 year old Pawel Brozek, as reported in todayâ€™s Times of London.
The striker started his career at Wisla back in 2001. In his early days Brozek was loaned out to LKS Lodz and GKS Katowice respectively in order to gain some valuable playing experience, and it wasn’t until the 2007-2008 season that the forward was given the chance to make his mark in the Ekstraklasa with his parent club.
But when the chance arose Brozek grabbed it with both hands, registering 23 goals in 27 matches back in 2007-2008 to make him the leagues top-scorer; a feat which was repeated last season when he bagged 22 goals in 32 games. In total Brozek has scored 65 goals in 140 games for Wisla.
For a player who stands at 5ft 11inches his aerial ability is poor, however he is blessed with both electric acceleration and physical strength. His modus operandi is to play just off the shoulder of the last defender, looking for through balls where he can utilise his pace to create space and beat the goalkeeper. He is an excellent finisher in one-on-one situations.
His main drawbacks, notwithstanding his aerial ability, is that apart from goals Brozek is black-marked as contributing little else to the cause. He rarely works the channels, often seen as selfish and self-serving in the way he approaches the game. In this regard he is a little similar to Michael Owen, in that if he is not scoring goals he can often go unnoticed.
Brozek have found the international arena much harder to make a splash in, the striker consistently unable to recreate his league form for Poland. This has seen him sidelined from the national team, Brozek has missed out on major championships including Euro 2008.
At Â£2.5 million though, Brozek is worth a punt, yet Fulham fans should not expect him to arrive in the Premier League and become a goal scoring machine. He will however offer an alternative to Andy Johnson and will increase the pressure on the clubâ€™s current strikers to perform better. His pace will trouble defences but as with any player coming from a lesser league it will be difficult for him to make that step up to Premier League level.
Video evidence of Pawel Brozek can be seen here.