20 Midfielder Lech Poznan Poland
An excellent young player and highly regarded within football’s inner circle, Karol Linetty has just had his best year as a professional. A midfielder who is a natural on both the front and back foot, he’s found his level of achievable consistency and contributed hugely to Lech’s title win last season. Comparisons with Luka Modric are a stretch at the moment but another season or two like the last and who knows.
2015 has been…
…the year the secret got out.
At the turn of the year here was a neat and tidy midfielder doing good things for his club side and making clear progress. We put him into this year’s 100 on solid grounds but slightly worried we may have seen everything already. While he may not have torn up this list and blazed a trail that could be seen from space like some, he has quietly had an excellent season in a very bright team, and continued to improve.
His eye for a pass has always been there but the speed of his feet is now catching up. He plays with his chest out, loves a lung-bursting late run into the box and unlike some of IBWM’s editing team, seems to play well with others. A full international already and part of the very exciting Poland squad who’ve stormed their way to Euro2016, he’ll feature in France and load the guns for Lewy and Milik ahead of him. If we had one criticism it would that he needs to add a few more goals but they’ll come, we’re still at the beginning of his career and there’s a long road ahead.
This sort of thing doesn’t go unnoticed and accordingly, things could get very interesting as early as January for this young man.
A very good player who’ll be available and not cost you the earth - no brainer, right? Manchester City are admirers from afar but are potentially thinking of themselves as the move after his next one, and that could come very quickly with Leicester constantly linked and likely to bid in the next transfer window.
There are several clubs watching but we want to say this; wherever you go, make sure it’s somewhere you’re going to play. He has reached the level where he is starting every game for Lech, it would be a real shame to see him move to a substitute’s bench somewhere. It’s also crucial for his development, which had benefited hugely from the trust shown in him.
We’re cautiously optimistic about this one. He seems to have all the right things in all the right places, be mature enough to handle what’s coming and we think he’ll be at a Champions League club for the greater portion of his career. His next move is important, it would be criminal to go backwards from here and the Premier League as we know is a tough place to be a young player, but he has more of a chance than most. Well done on an excellent 12 months, here’s to the next.
B Excellent progress and high praise to match, picking his next move is crucial to his longer-term career prospects
If you've enjoyed reading the #IBWM100 please make a donation to help us keep the site ad free.