Piotr Zielinski 22 Midfielder Napoli Poland
Here’s a proper player for you, still relatively low key too. Progress has been rapid and a footballer always thought of as a decent midfield prospect has moved to Napoli and become the real deal in no time at all. Perhaps it’s the disappointing performance at the Euros that has tempered all those expectations and kept him slightly under the radar, but that won’t last. Exciting.
2016 has been…
…good overall and finishing extremely well, has started this current season as strongly as anyone else on this list.
The story of Zielinski’s year has always, to one degree or another, revolved around Napoli. The rumours were there when he was included on this list 12 months ago and impressing on loan at Empoli. He continued looking really good, driving at defenders and picking his passes well, and Liverpool entered the conversation forcing Napoli to make contact. After weeks of speculation the season ended, the transfer window opened, the Euros came and went and still it was all about Napoli with nothing actually happening. Finally the transfer was confirmed in August with thousands of words left in its wake, and the player had his club, the club their player.
That marriage, so far, has been an outrageous success. He looks at home in that very attractive midfield and has become a huge force for all they do that’s good.
It shouldn’t be a surprise, but it sort of is. We knew he was good but it’s the maturity, the poise, the bravery on the ball, the whole package really that’s got us a little giddy. Don’t change a thing.
Just keep on as you are, don’t change a thing. There’s symbiosis here between club and player, both need to acknowledge that and love each other for a bit. He’s always looked at home in Serie A but now he’s taking games on rather than letting them happen around him. The start to this season has seen him play, for our money, the best football of his career to date and long may that continue.
Well established in the international team despite a poor showing at the summer, we wonder if that transfer speculation was playing on his mind? If we were selfish we’d ask for more goals but that’ll come, this is still a 22-year old man we’re dealing with despite looking like he’s been around for a decade or more.
So overwhelmingly positive and expectations through the roof. Whereas team mate Kapustka had an excellent Euros and has then dropped like a stone, here’s a player had a far more trying time and has already put it behind him. Seeing him and Milik link up together earlier in the season was two ticks in two boxes for IBWM, here’s hoping Milik returns in form and Zielinski keeps on feeding him.
B Really enjoyable to watch, huge and quantifiable progress this year, could have a huge future ahead
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