Robert Lewandowski has been the king of Poland for a decade.
But there’s a new contender on the scene.
Krzysztof Piatek looks like he is ready to take the crown from the as yet unrivalled Polish legend.
The AC Milan hitman has had a phenomenal rise since he emerged from Poland in the summer.
Piatek arrived at Genoa as an unknown quanitity with little expectation over his €4million price tag, but he instantly set about making a mockery of Italy’s reputation of having the best defences in world football.
Four goals in the first half of his first game for Genoa set the tone, he scored six minutes into his Serie A debut and then bagged in seven consecutive games.
And it wasn’t just a one-off hot streak, Piatek is the real deal.
As Lewandowski watched Borussia Dortmund take the lead in the Bundesliga, went through a patch of two goals in 11 matches and faced the unfamiliar feeling of going out of the Champions League before the quarter finals, Piatek has been setting fire to Serie A.
Gonzalo Higuain’s move to Chelsea triggered a chain of events which saw Milan swoop for Piatek in January and what they got was an iron clad goalscorer.
In the first half of the season Piatek led the scoring charts with 13 league goals in 19 games for Genoa, after moving to the San Siro he’s managed six in nine and is currently level with Cristiano Ronaldo in the race for the Capocannoniere.
Dripping in goals.
Now I am not calling time on Lewandowski’s career by any means.
He has been the man that would strike fear into even Sergio Ramos’ black heart as memories of Lewa putting four past Real Madrid in the 2013 Champions League semi-final come flooding back.
The 30-year-old has scored four minute hat-tricks, scored five goal hauls, topped the scoring for World Cup and Euro qualifying campaigns but the changing of the guard could be at hand.
Lewandowski started the Euro 2020 qualifier against Austria last night, however when the Poles needed the spark to break the deadlock is was the apprentice who saved the day, not the master.
Lewandowski used to be the man that could be relied on to get that crucial goal, now that responsibility is beginning to fall at Piatek’s feet.
Both players are cast from the same mould; tall, powerful, fast and with the god-given gift to put the ball in the back of the net.
Bayern’s frontman has carried the expectations of a nation for so long, now he’s finally got someone to share the burden with.
Piatek is a Polish legend in the making and he has the perfect mentor in Lewandowski to become one of the world’s best goalscorers.
When I say Piatek was a wildcard signing from Genoa, he really was a stab in the dark – not a single person at the club had seen him play in the flesh before he arrived at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris.
But his early season form landed him a call-up to the national team and as if pressure was some sort of made up concept Piatek has been brilliant since making his debut.
While some crack under the wieght of being a nation’s poster boy, Piatek has channelled it all into scoring goals for both Milan and Poland.
Don’t worry Lewa, your position is in safe hands with this man.
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