According to the Daily Mirror six English teams are looking to sign £12 million rated Dynamo Kyiv striker Łukasz Teodorczyk. The report claims Everton, Stoke, Sunderland, West Brom, West Ham and Championship club Aston Villa are all looking at the possibility of signing the in-form attacker in January.
Teodorczyk is having a productive loan spell in Belgium with Anderlecht and has scored 14 goals already this season including four in the Europa League. The Belgian club do not have an agreement in place to sign the striker on a permanent basis, something they must be regretting after his prolific start to the season. It is believed his parent club, who paid €4 million for his services in August 2014, would be tempted into selling Polish international if a club offered the £12 million (€13.44m/$14.87m).
What can you expect from Teodorczyk?
The fee may seem steep for a relatively unknown player but his skillset is one that thrives in England if he’s spearheading a team playing to his strengths. If you expect him to take four players on before chipping a ‘keeper you’re going to be disappointed.
The forward would be ideal in a team that A) looks to get crosses into the box at every given opportunity B) wants to play a counter-attacking style.
The majority of his goals so far this season have come via headers. Anderlecht realised he was a brute in the air and the 6ft1 Teodorczyk makes the most of his height. In the Europa League so far this season he’s winning 3.8 headers per 90 minutes which puts him in good company. Edin Dzeko, now of Roma, averages 4.1 headers, Fernando Llorente averages 3.9 as does Marouane Fellaini. Teodorczyk has scored a variety of headers this season ranging from glancing ones off a driven cross to thumping ones when attacking the space in the area.
However, he’s more than just a targetman. The reason he gets so many opportunities to score is because of his clever movement. He’s not just standing in the penalty area and waiting for the cross to come in. He isolates a full-back or drifts into the blindspot of a centre-back before capitalising on the space he’s managed to work.
Due to his ability in the air his finishing in general sometimes goes unnoticed or is overlooked. When he strikes the ball with his right foot it usually stays hit but there is a finesse to his game that you wouldn’t usually associate with a big man. He can calmly stroke the ball home as he did against Waasland Beveren in a league match at the end of October after an intelligent diagonal run across the opposition’s right-back.
For teams who are a little more conservative and would use Teodorczyk as an out-ball he can be just as effective. His hold-up play takes pressure of the defence and his link-up play with the midfield is one of his strong points. He’s good at bringing others into play with his lay-offs and knock-downs and his sheer presence creates openings for teammates. His flexibility is evident in the teams he’s being linked with.
While it’s unlikely he’d be a starter for Everton the Merseyside club do need back-up for Romelu Lukaku and Teodorczyk could be perfect in that sense. He’s not as powerful or as well rounded as the Belgian international but if Koeman wanted to give Lukaku a freer role they wouldn’t miss out on Lukaku’s physicality and aerial presence if Teodorczyk was playing.
With Wilified Bony failing to impress, Mame Diouf not kicking on and both Peter Crouch and Jonathan Walters coming to the end of their careers, Stoke may be in need of a new striker to lead their line. Teodorczyk shares similarities with the aforementioned strikers so Mark Hughes wouldn’t have to tweak the system to fit the Polish international.
Their Victor Anichebe inspired win against Bournemouth showcased just how much of a difference maker a powerful striker can be. With so many teams now used to facing versatile forwards with no set positions an old-school striker like Teodorczyk may catch a few Premier League defences off guard and be the difference maker between survival and relegation. You can’t help but feel Defoe would benefit from such a partner.
Simone Zaza is failing to deliver and without the injured Andy Carroll the options in the attacking third for Slaven Bilic are limited. Teodorczyk and Carroll share a few traits so in theory the big Pole would seamlessly fit in with the WHU attack and bring the best out of the supporting cast.
Would Teodorczyk oust Salomon Rondon as the starting striker at WBA? Rondon is has been impressive this season even without the goals and plays a big role in Tony Pulis’ system. Teodorczyk could replicate what Rondon does and be a pretty good back-up striker to be able to call upon.
The prospect of Teodorczyk alongside Jordan Ayew and Jonathan Kodjia at Villa must be a scary one for Championship teams as Steve Bruce looks to get the Villains back in the promotion hunt. He’d be an upgrade on Rudy Gestede if Bruce wanted to go down that route.
Follow the Teodorczyk transfer rumours here